Feb. 23, 2023 – Luke 3:1-20
I have had a lemon tree in a large pot in our home for years, but no matter how much sun, fertilizer, or water we give it, we have never gotten a lemon from it. My wife aptly named this fruitless tree “Sourpuss,” and has told me time and time again that we need to ditch the plant that is just taking up room in our house. Can you blame her?
God feels the same about us. John the Baptist was preparing the way for the arrival of the Messiah and he preached that we all should prove by the way we live that we have repented of our sins and turned to God. Another translation says we are to, “Bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” That means God does not want us to be a lemon tree with lemon roots, lemon leaves, a lemon trunk, and lemon branches, but no lemons. Lemon trees are planted for lemons. We are forgiven so we can do the good works God prepared for us to do long ago (See Ephesians 2:10)
John warns the crowd, the corrupt tax collectors, and even the soldiers who extorted and brutalized God’s people that God is not winking at anyone’s sin. They all asked, “What should we do?” The answer was to do what people who have changed their minds and direction in life do. In other words, treat others like you have been given the gift of salvation, because you have! When we are filled with the joy of our salvation, the fruits start to show up.
By the way, for the first time ever, we have lemons growing on our tree. Lemonade anyone?
Questions for reflection:
- What is an area of life where you have not been as fruitful as you know you are meant to be?
- Take a minute to write down what you can do this week to treat God, those around you, and yourself like you have been given the gift of eternal life. Now, go do it!