“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
Matthew 3:8 NIV
Saskatchewan prairie cherries are traditional Canadian sour cherries. They can survive temperatures as low as -40C and can be eaten straight from the tree. The cherries are small and grow on short bushes. The fruit is deep red in colour and is ripe from late July to early August. The flavour is more tart than other traditional sweet cherries. When cooked at high temperatures, they maintain the intense flavour and colour, so the cherries are often used in cookies and pies.
Canada grows a wide variety of fruit, but it takes hard work by experienced farmers to produce the quality of fruit that Canadians desire. The Bible speaks of the spiritual fruit that followers of Jesus are called to produce, and it begins right at our conversion. Matthew 3:8 tells us the command John the Baptist gave to the religious leaders in his day: “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” The Christian life is all about radical transformation. It begins with repentance – turning from the sin that so easily trips us up and ruins lives. The Bible is clear that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. So we need to repent of all that makes us enemies of the God who loves us and offered His son Jesus as the One who took upon Himself the punishment we deserve for our sins. When we do, by His grace and empowering, our lives are no long marked by sin but by Christlikeness in how we live and how we speak. One of the marks of being truly born again is the fruit of the Spirit being clearly evident in our lives. We, too, are called to produce fruit in keeping with repentance.
These have been words from the heart.