Daily Readings & Thought for March 12th. “BEAR FRUITS IN KEEPING WITH … “
Today’s readings.. (Leviticus 20), (Psalm 19:129-176), (Luke 3)
What an incredible impact the preaching of John the Baptist had! We do not realize this at first – but there are clues here and there – look at Acts 18 v.25 and 19 v.3. Paul comes across those at Ephesus who knew only the baptism of John– a vast distance from the Jordan.
What stood out in our chapter 3 in Luke today was the bluntness of John’s message; it was far from being simply an appeal to love your neighbour as yourself – which is the substance of the preaching in many churches today. They had to examine themselves and change their ways and “bear fruits in keeping with repentence” – to put it bluntly, to show they were repentant by actions – not just words.
Many had a certain pride in being children of Abraham – some today feel they can at least say, ‘I have a Bible in my house – and I read it – sometimes.’
John was the one sent to “prepare the way of the Lord” [v.4] of whom Isaiah (40 v.3-5) had prophesied. John detailed what the Lord, the Messiah, was to accomplish What he did not realize, in common with everyone else, was that the Messiah would have to come twice! Only part of what John preached was accomplished by Jesus – the rest awaits the Messiah’s now imminent second coming – and how awesome are the words that apply to that coming!
“His winnowing fork (used in harvesting) is in his hands to clear his threshing floor, and to gather the wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” [v.17] Chaff are ears of wheat that are useless, they have failed to produce; how much chaff can God see in the world today!!
Let us make sure we are not among the chaff! Let us all “bear good fruit” for John also preached, “Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”[v.9] Bearing good fruit should – indeed – must be – a labour of love for our Lord – before the harvest time occurs. What wonders then follow!