John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.” Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?” “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?” He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
- Luke 3:7-14
In this passage, we understand that the “fruit” of repentance is all about how we live out our faith in relationship to other people.
Repentance cannot just be something that we do inside of ourselves, because it's not about “just me and God.” In the Bible, repentance always plays itself out in all our relationships: our family relationships, our work relationships, our relationships in the community, and yes, also our relationships with God.
God is the one who has command of our lives, and He calls us to repent and humble ourselves in front of those we are in relationships with.
Question: How do you bear fruit in keeping with repentance? How does your repentance affect how you relate to others?
Family Chat: When was the last time that you apologized to someone? Is there anyone you need to repent to now?
Take Action: Repent in your relationships for the things that you have repented to God about.