Matthew 3:8 “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”
Matthew 3:10 “The ax is already at the foot of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
How are you producing? Does the tree of your life have good ripe fruit hanging on it? Christians are called to do good works. Once we get up from the posture of repentance and salvation, what we do next is important. Our actions should back up what has just transpired in our lives. Once we give our hearts to the Lord, the Holy Spirit comes in and starts the changing process. We are not left to talk and behave as we once did. Our outward actions should reflect the inward change. God looks past what we say to see if what we do backs up the words coming from our lips. We do not do good deeds to attain salvation, but because we are saved there should be good deeds flowing from us.
God is not pleased with people who say they are Christians yet do nothing about it. We are not to be Christians in name only, but what we do should reflect the inward change we have experienced at the foot of the cross. If you call yourself a Christian yet there has been no change in your behavior, you most likely need to check your heart. You may have had a religious moment of excitement, but have not been truly born again.
God tells us this:” we will be judged” for unproductive lives. He tells us that if we do not produce good fruit we will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Those are pretty strong words! John compares us to fruit trees that do not produce fruit. We are not to be Christians in name only. We are to live productive lives, investing in others, and spreading the “Good news” at the same time. Others should see our faith in the way we treat them. It goes back to the old saying: “we may be the only bible some people read or listen to.” Are you good reading material?
To live for God, we must be obedient to His word. We must resist temptation and sin. We must actively serve people, and love like Jesus loved. We must share Jesus with those we meet. Our actions need to match our words. When Jesus came to this earth, he served others, put their needs above his own, do you do that?
I know of people who claim to be Christian, but there is nothing that they do that backs up that claim. Their lives center around their needs, what makes them happy. The thought of doing something for someone else never enters their mind. They are selfish in all they do. Now, only God knows their heart, but from the outward, it makes me question whether they truly know the Lord.
When you become “born again” there is an immediate change that takes place. The Holy Spirit comes into you and dwells inside of you. From that moment on, there are changes that start taking place. We cannot continue our lives and our conduct as we once did. We do not have to change to come to Christ, He tells us to come as we are, but once we have come, once we have repented and turned from our sins and accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior of our lives, then the change starts and keeps going until we leave this earth. We are to be about the Father’s business. We are to live our lives spilled out for others. We are no longer our own, we belong to God, and God changes us!
If you continue in sin after you say you have been born again, then I say you probably were not born again. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sins and changes our desires. People who go forward, profess faith, and go live like they did before…need to check their hearts. We lose even the desire for the sinful lives we once lived. As we read, pray, and seek God, our focus shifts, and our desires start to line up with God’s desires.
So, I ask you again, are you producing? Is their fruit on your branches? Do you live a life of obedience to God’s word, do you love in your actions and not only with words? Could someone look at the things you do and see Christ in them? Can others see your faith in the way you treat them? If not, now is the time to repent. We are not promised tomorrow, so we must live fully, and fully live for Jesus Christ right now.
The time to start having your actions match your words is now. You no longer have the excuse that you do not know. If you have read this, then you know. Once we hear the truth, it is what we do with it that matters. God’s word does not lie. He said it, and He meant it! Examine yourself, look deeply at the things you do, or do not do. The next time you feel that prompting by the Holy Spirit, act on it. God sees everything we do. Nothing escapes his notice. He has saved you, now act like it! One day, you will be judged for the things that you have done, or not done. Think about that as you go about your day.