Luke 3 tells the story of John the Baptist as he began his ministry. His job? Prepare the way of the Lord. (Luke 3:4) Many royal rulers and powerful leaders of the land are listed at the beginning of the chapter to set the stage and give us historical context, yet it is a normal guy, born to older parents, in an off-the-map-of-all-places-important rural village that the Lord called to be the forerunner for Jesus. (Doesn’t it encourage you that God uses normal people from ordinary places to shout the fame of Jesus? Me too.)
The Lord spoke to John when he was in the wilderness and told him what to do (Luke 3:2). Then John walked his sandals to the dusty country trails around the Jordan and got himself busy for Jesus. He preached what the Bible calls “a baptism of repentance” for the forgiveness of sins, and he challenged the people of Israel to live lives that produced fruit in keeping with repentance. (Luke 3:3,8) His message was two-fold, but simple: turn from sin and turn toward God.
The people wanted John to help them understand. They wanted to know what that should look like in their lives.
“What should we do then?” the crowd asked. (Luke 3:10)
That same question was shouted from people of different backgrounds, careers, ages, and responsibilities … from people with different challenges and different experiences. What should we do?
John answered them. And in doing so he painted a picture of what it should look like for every follower of Jesus to produce fruit in keeping with repentance. Look at what he said.
John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.” (Luke 3:11-14)
The Bible goes on to say that John spent time with the people, exhorted them, and told them the good news that God had sent him to share. (Luke 3:18) As I consider the illustrations that John used to describe what a fruit-producing life looks like, I reflect. Am I asking God that question? What should I do, Lord?
Thankful for this fresh heart-burden, I decide to summarize what John told the people and apply the principles to my life. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but it is a great starting point. Here are the things that John said we should do in order to be fruit-bearers.
#1. Share – Live out your faith beyond yourself and beyond your stuff. Be generous.
#2. Be honest – Do your job. Don’t take what’s not yours, and tell the truth.
#3. Live with integrity – Don’t do what you shouldn’t do, even if you can, and treat others well.
#4. Be content – Stop reaching and straining for stuff that doesn’t really matter in light of eternity. Be thankful for what you have.
As I look over this list, I wonder. What changes can I make in the way I do things that will produce more fruit? How willing am I to share? Am I honest? Who am I when others aren’t looking? Do my choices honor God? Am I content?
James 2:14-26 says that faith without deeds is dead. I want my life to give evidence of my faith – to shout the fame of Jesus, just like John the Baptist. I want to be a woman who produces fruit in keeping with repentance … fruit that bears evidence of my turning from sin toward God. Yes. Yes. Yes!
So I determine that this list is a great place to start.
Thank You for your Word that is rich with lessons.
Please help me to be a woman who does things that will cause others to see You.
Help me to share, be honest, live with integrity and be content.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE:
If the LORD is impressing on your heart that it is time for you to amp up your sharing, here’s an opportunity for you to do just that. CLICK HERE to learn more about how you can impact the life of a child in poverty in Jesus’ name. (Share a shirt. Share your food. Be the hope. Be the body. Be the beauty.)
Which of these four fruit-bearing principles is tugging on your heart today? WRITE OUT A PRAYER in the comments section of my blog that commits this area to God today.
THIS is happening… in LESS than a WEEK…
and YOU’RE INVITED!
Guys, I’m so excited to tell you about this FREE online event that I’m confident you’ll love – The Journey Together Summit, June 5-8, 2017.
I’m joining hands with 34 leading authors with the sole mission of helping you discover new bravery. Whether you desire to be brave at home or at work, in your marriage or with your children, in ministry or in the mess of the day, dealing with a surprising life or just organizing it – this is the event for you. There is something for everyone with over 34 topics of fear covered (wait till you see them all!).
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I can’t wait to see you there!
Your sister on the journey,
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SUMMIT
Thank you for using this devotional to speak to my heart. Help me to begin each day looking up to Jesus, looking outside of my own desires to see the needs of others and look for all the reasons to have a grateful heart! Thank you for your grace and faithfulness in my life!
Oh, Lord, hear my prayer. I turn to you in obedience because I don’t know what to do. I prayed for a word, and you gave it to me in this devotional from my Sister in Christ. I know the ‘right thing’ to do in this current situation, but my husband adamantly opposes me. It is his selfishness that hinders my desire to give to someone who is in much more need than we are. We have an older vehicle that sits idly in our garage serving no purpose other than as a back-up ‘in case’. My parents need a means of transportation, and yet my husband says he has helped my family far more than anyone. My heart hurts. Lord, what should I do?
This is hard stuff. Keep seeking God’s heart and leading in this. Praying for you now, friend.
Dear Lord, You have been calling me all day long to come to You – Bible, Meditation books, Sunday School prep, Bible Study class . . . . I started falling and landing on my back and the back of my head. This went on for almost 6-7 weeks. Each time I turned to You, to be with You, to recommit myself to You I would fall again. But I wasn’t falling because of You in my life. No I was falling for putting “stuff” first in my life. After reading your devotion, I knew what I needed to do. Full engines up, up, and away! I’m shooting for the stars! I can’t fail when I reach up to You. Thank you so much for writing from your heart.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your guidance and encouragement through Your Word. Please help me to live my life as You see it with integrity and strength so that I will do what I should for Your love and glory. In Jesus’ precious name, Amen.
I eagerly wait until morning to read the message you give us.I am recuperating for 3 months and more months ahead from an accident.This message touched me .I have over 50 dress blazers that I cannot get into some never worn,many no longer can fit. I always say say when I loose weight.I will wear them. Reading your message is all it took to do it for me . Some one out there perhaps starting a new job can benefit from them.So I will give with a cheerful heart . Thank you for all your messages !!!
I AM A DAUGHTER OF MY JEHOVAH SHAMA. JOINT HEIR OF MY.SAVIOR.JESUS CHRIST THE LORD. BEING LED WITH FULL VULNERABILTY BY THE HOLY SPIRIT. AND COMPLETELY IN LOVE WITH THE LORD. IN MY DISCIPLINE THREW MY WORDS ACTIONS AND GOOD DEEDS. PLUS MY REPENTIVE CHRISTAIN LIFE STYLE IN JESUS. OF WHOM I GIVE “ALL” GLORY TO. MY PRAYER IS TO STAY STRENGTHENED WHILE BEING HATED BY EVERYONE I HAVE BEEN BENEVOLENT TO. IM LIED ON AND SOUGHT OI TO BE CUSSED AT ETC… YET I RETALIATE WITH WORDS TO STILL POINT TO THE LORD AND PRAY FOR HOLY GHOST HELP. REALIZING IM THE DRY TREE SO I ENDURE. PLEASE HELP ME MY LORD. I MEDITATE WITH THE HOLY BIBLE MORNING AND NIGHT. MY HUSBAND AND I DO DEVTIONALS DAILY PRAY CONSTANTLY. MY PRAYER IS TO KEEP FAITH THAT THIS ALL MIGHTY GOD I ADORE AND FEAR WILL REDEEM MY SON AND DAUGHTER. PLEASE ABBA CLEAN THEM UP INSIDE. DRAW THEM INTO YOU LORD. IN JESUS CHRIST THE LORD. THANK YOU. AMEN MY LORD
Dear Lord, thank you for pointing me in this direction. Help me to be generous, to be honest, to live a life of integrity even when faced with doubts and uncertainty and to be content. Help me to turn my focus on you and not on my circumstances so that I can receive direction, guidance and wisdom to do what pleases you. Forgive me for looking the other way and to your way. You are merciful and faithful so I know that you have heard me and will take care of me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Lord please help me continue to give to the needy. Help me to get to know you Lord help me think with the Christ mind and share with everyone I can get to know you. In Jesus name Amen
Lord, You are our Everything! Help us release our possessions, which are just on loan from You, into Your hands as you regive them to others in need! We thank You for Your goodness and mercy to us and ask that we make You our First-Thing Desire Lord! Let us be honest in everything and live with Jesus’ integrity! Show us that we are only content in You! “1 The LORD is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.” (Psalm 23:1 NIV) In JESUS NAME Amen
Lord, thank you for working in my life.Help me to share what have with others Lord and be content. My joy comes from from serving You and knowing Yoj better. Bless each women here, in Jesus name amen.
Lord I am feeling Your love and light inside of me like I have never before! Help me to show this outwardly so others can see You working in me. You have blessed me abundantly and I pray to be content with all I have knowing that my true happiness comes from serving You alone! Lord God You led me to the GIGS and I thank you for their spirits and all the encouragement they give to so many of us each and every day! In Jesus name AMEN
Lord, thank you for this message this morning….during a week that is going to be long and has been ruled by discouragement up to this point. Help me to re-double my efforts and work hard in order to be full of integrity. And in this way, help me to be a witness for you. Amen.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Please help me to give as much as I receive. Love my life, be content with all my needs being Met. Help me to trust in you oh lord not give into doubt nor temptation. Let my hear and mind desire you more than the comforts of the world. In Jesus name AMEN
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for waking me up this morning to a new day and opportunity to serve You! I thank You for my job and everyone who works there. I thank you for blessing me to be a blessing! Heavenly Father, I pray that you increase Your Holy Spirit in me to share whatever stuff, resources, energy, and all together LOVE with others in this world! Please give me the heart of charity! I praise you for hearing my prayer and creating in me a heart that’s more like You!
In Jesus Christ’s name,
Amen and amen!
Thank you for your bountiful blessings on my family. You have blessed us beyond measure. Help me to be grateful everyday and to share what I have with others. Help me to inspire as others have inspired me. Help me to remain faithful even when I’m in the valley of the shadow of death. Help me to have peace in my storm, knowing that you have already won the victory. Bless the GIG ladies and women all over the world.
Yes, Lord. Amen.
Beautiful prayer to cover His family. Amen
Thank you so much Dear Father for showing us Your Way! Its a privilege and an Honor to work your Will for our lives! Thank you for continuing to keep us close! We Love you Lord with all our hearts thanks ?
Yes, Father. Thank You for Your Word. Amen.
Dear Lord, Thank you for the many blessings in my life. You are so good. Help me to content today and every day in all that I have, in all my circumstances of life. I know that You will provide but I still let worry and fear overcome me. Help me to choose You and believe You before I start on my normal path of trying to control/fix and fret over things. It is You I must trust. Strengthen my faith to grow in my spiritual walk with You to be walking in confidence, and content knowing I have all I need in YOU. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
What am Awesome heart felt prayer. I can relate to that whole heartily for its a privilege to bear your fruits ?
Love this. Amen.
God, I love what you have shared with me today. Please help me to live out my faith. Help me to trust u to take care of me instead of hoarding stuff in case I need it. Help me to rest in the knowledge that You love me and will always take care of me in everything. I love you. Help me grow in boldness to proclaim Your glories to the world. In Jesus precious name, amen
Yes, Lord. May we all grow in boldness for Your glory! Amen.
I just want to say how much your blog blesses me and helps me in so many ways.
And for today, I pray Lord that you would help me live with more integrity! Amen.
Yes! May we all live with integrity in such a way that it makes those around us wonder about our Lord! 🙂
Lord, I want my life to be a picture of someone who knows you and lives for You. Please point out and prune away things that don’t line up with that. I love You Lord. Amen.
Yes! Yes! YES! #amen
Be content, in & thru it all, in Jesus’ precious name & for God’s glory…Amen!
Yes, Lord. Help us all to be content and honor You today. Amen.