01.06.21 | Repent & Bear Fruit

In today’s BREAD reading from Luke 3:8, as John is baptizing people, he says the following words to the crowd that gathers, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Repentance and bearing fruit are two themes that appear in Jesus’ messages to his disciples and the crowds he encounters. According to Matthew 4:17 and Mark 1:15, Jesus preached repentance from very early on in his ministry. And when he sent out his disciples, Mark 6:10 tells us that the disciples preached the same message of repentance. Jesus’ message to bear fruit is found in John 15:5-8, a call to remain in him.

As we begin this new year with all kinds of resolutions for ourselves, let’s use this first Wednesday to focus on these two messages of repentance and bearing fruit. Let’s ask Jesus the same question the crowd asked John when he speaks to them, saying “What should we do then?”

Spend today praying and journaling, acknowledging that Jesus’ desire is for you to repent and bear fruit. Then ask Jesus out loud, “What should I do then?” Spend time listening to what Jesus is speaking to you, pray about what you hear, and then act upon it.

If He is asking you to repent, connect with a brother or sister and confess your sins. If He is asking you to produce certain fruits, reflect on how you can best do that, and share it with a brother or sister who can help hold you accountable. If you’re having a hard time identifying what Jesus may be inviting you into, ask someone you are close with to join you in the conversation, and see if you can discern His voice together.

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