Each morning during the week, I follow a pretty standard routine. After I let the dog out, shower, get dressed, brew some coffee, prepare lunch, and gather all of the items needed for work, I will sit down for some quiet time reading the bible. This is typically enough time for me to wake up so that my mind is ready and able to think. Although after waking up in the middle of the night, I suppose that I did not get the amount of rest my body truly needs, as I went off on a little of a diversion.
I headed to my study room to read the devotional for the day. I grabbed the devotional book to see what scripture was mentioned. After glancing at the verse numbers, I flipped my bible open to what I thought was the scripture. After I read the verses, I realized that I had flipped to a different Gospel. Instead of reading John 3:10-21, I read Luke 3:10-21.
At this point, I had two options. I could either go to the next gospel and read the verses in John. Or continue with what I just read. For the sake of time, I decided I should just run with it. A nice impromptu devotional! I felt that the Holy Spirit might have led me to this place for a reason.
In this passage from Luke, the first verse that I came across was the following:
And the crowds asked him, “What then shall we do?” (Luke 3:10)
Well, that instantly made me curious about what was mentioned beforehand. What would prompt the crowds to ask “what shall we do”? Knowing that I’ve seen a similar and extremely important question in Acts 16:30 (What must I do to be saved?), I knew that something important must have been said to them to cause this reaction. So going back a few verses before brought me to John the Baptist addressing the crowds:
 He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham.  Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” (Luke 3:7-9)
The crowds were told to “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance.” (Luke 3:8). This is a simple and straight forward statement. If you are repentant, you will bear fruit. If you are unrepentant, you will not bear fruit. And the consequences of being unrepentant are severe and eternal.
John the Baptist is telling them to repent of their ways. Repentance is a change of direction, and a change of mind. And real repentance will show itself to be true by what it produces in your life. He followed up with examples of the fruit of repentance to each one who asked.
 And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”  Tax collectors also came to be baptized and said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?”  And he said to them, “Collect no more than you are authorized to do.”  Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.” (Luke 3:11-14)
In verse 11, we see a fruit of repentance is generosity. In verse 13, we see a fruit of repentance is no longer stealing. And in verse 14, we see the fruit of repentance is honesty.
A repentant life is a changed life.
I find it interesting that the change of direction in this morning devotional brought me to scripture about repentance, a change of direction in our lives. This illuminated the implication and question about what fruit is apparent in my life? And what is still lingering around?
We must realize that every morning is a day to follow a direction. Am I going to follow my own sinful ways? Or am I going to pick up my cross, deny myself, turn from my sinful ways, and follow Christ?
Repentance isn’t just a one time thing. It’s continual. Every day is a fight against what our sinful nature wants to do. We are not perfected yet. And we cannot do this alone.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)
The good news is that God has given us an incredible gift, the Holy Spirit, to be our guide. Follow Him and see the beautiful fruit that He will produce!
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)