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Bearing Fruits in Repentance

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SCRIPTURE

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them: do you think they were worse offenders than all the others who lived in Jerusalem? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. - Luke 13:3-5

 

OBSERVATION

Sin is sin. No matter how we slice it or dice it sin is sin before God. Whether it’s the garden variety sin of lying, not loving God, or coveting; or to “sins leading to death” like murder or theft—the solution is the same. Repentance, the act of grieving over sin, turning away from sin and running to God is the panacea to all the ills of sin. Jesus makes it explicitly clear that unless we repent we will perish. It’s interesting to note that immediately after this teaching in repentance, Luke juxtaposed this parable of a barren fig tree needing to be cut after three years of fruitlessness. It typically takes about two years for a fig tree to bear fruit. The gardener said to dig around the tree, fertilize it and if still doesn’t bear fruit after another year to chop it down. John the Baptist in Luke 3 says that we are to bear fruit in repentance. 

 

APPLICATION

Is there the fruit of repentance in my life? Or do I simply ask for forgiveness and repeat the same habitual sin in my life? God is so patient and long-suffering in his love for me. Psalm 103:10 says, "he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.” I want to repent and live in the freedom, joy and abundant life in Christ Jesus.

 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father,

I love you so much. Thank you for your loving patience and kindness that leads me to repentance. May I never take for granted or dishonor all that you have accomplished for me at the cross. Please continue to strengthen me with your spirit to repent so that times of refreshing may come. Maranatha!

Posted by John Danganan with

Engage & Withdraw

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SCRIPTURE

But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray. - Luke 5:15-16

 

OBSERVATION

A rhythm of engaging and withdrawing--that was the ministry paradigm which Jesus engaged in kingdom mission. Whereas we keep striking while the iron is hot and bulldozing forward when there is fruit, Jesus withdrew. Though he himself was the literal messiah, he did not have a messiah complex. There were families with infirmities, fathers with leprosy, daughters dying but he withdrew to pray. He didn’t see every need presented to him as the will of the Father so he rested. His rhythm was very different from ours. He rested while others worked and worked while others rested. Maybe it’s because this paradigm of engage and withdraw. He didn’t wait till Sabbath to rest but continually found this rhythm of work & respite all throughout the day.

 

APPLICATION

I need to be courageous with Jesus’ paradigm of withdrawing especially when things are going well and ministry is rockin'. Often times when there’s momentum I ride that sucker till the tires are bald and wheels fall off. Find pockets in the day to withdraw not to be lazy but to pray. Be silent before God and let him speak instead of me talking all the time. Be intentional of resting my anxious thoughts and wandering heart.

 

PRAYER

Jesus you are the head of the church. You lived in and embodied grace and truth. Please give me the courage to say no ministry needs that I’m not supposed to meet. Guard me from idleness in rest and laziness in respite. Maranatha! I love you.

Posted by John Danganan with

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