Pastor Russ Belmont
Calvary Baptist Church
Matthew 3:8-9 Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God. Don’t just say, ‘We’re safe—we’re the descendants of Abraham.’ That proves nothing. God can change these stones here into children of Abraham.
We have a Myer lemon tree growing very near our front door. Myer lemons are known for their delicious flavor. For years, friends and family have enjoyed the fruit of the tree’s labor. This year is different. The tree has produced very small lemons with very little flavor. It has dead branches throughout it, and the leaves are an altered color. I know why, and it is my fault. I did not prune it, fertilize it, nor did I cut back the encroaching trees around it. You see, I left it ‘as is’ because I was afraid that if I pruned it, I would damage it. But by doing nothing, I have made it worse. I think I have subconsciously relied on the name of Myer lemons, and not the responsibility that goes with it. Lesson learned, there is more to bearing fruit than just waiting for it to grow.
The same goes with following God. With the relationship that I have received in Him, there comes a responsibility on my part that allows Him to produce His good fruit. I need to remember that if I do nothing, no good thing will be produced. But if I do my part and allow Him to work, I will bear much fruit, fruit that will last. It is important for me to remember that the fruit is not the change of heart or mind, but the actions which are the result of it.
Identity to obedience:
Does my life show that I have turned from self and turned to God? I claim to be in a relationship with Him, but do others around me see the actions of Christ through me? What are the attitudes, actions, or idols in my life that I need to cut away so He can bear fruit in me?
Prayer: Lord, help me see through your eyes and not mine. As I ask these questions about my life, help me to follow through with actions and not just intentions. Thank you for loving me and desiring that I bear good fruit.