Luke 3: Fruit of Repentance

December Devotional Readings

The Book of Luke has 24 chapters. It starts with the story of the birth of Christ and ends with His death and resurrection. This makes it the perfect Bible reading plan for the month of December. Read a chapter a day and you’ll have an overview of the story of Jesus by Christmas!

Regret and repentance are not the same things. True repentance leads to change. Bearing the fruit of the Spirit is evidence of a repentant heart.

Open your Bible and read Luke 3

There’s a predictable pattern at work in the life of a Jesus-follower. 

  1. You do or say something sinful. 
  2. It becomes a habit.
  3. You’re convicted by the Holy Spirit about your sinful attitude or actions. 

At this point, you get to “choose your own adventure”. Either you

  • Go back to step 1 and repeat the cycle, or
  • Repent.

To repent is to turn away from sin and turn toward righteousness. 

Repentance isn’t merely “feeling sorry” for your actions. That’s regret or even remorse. It’s strictly about feelings. I can regret what I’ve done without truly repenting. I can feel remorse without being repentant. 

Regret is inward-focused. “I’m sorry I got caught,” or “I feel bad because I got in trouble.”

Repentance is outward. When repentance happens, there is change. 

In today’s reading, John says we are to “bear fruits in keeping with repentance (Luke 3:8)…” If our hearts are truly repentant, there will be fruit in our lives that proves we have changed, that we have turned away from our sin.  

If you repent of hatred or unforgiveness, the fruit of repentance might be love. 

If you repent of a short temper, the fruit of repentance might be patience or self-control. 

If you repent of stealing, the fruit of repentance might be generosity. 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22, NASB)…”

A follower of Christ is someone who is continually walking in repentance. Therefore, an increase in the fruit of the Spirit should be evident in them. We won’t become perfect, but we will make progress. 

Father, search my heart and reveal to me anything I need to repent of. Then give me the strength to turn from my sin and to walk in Your ways instead. I want to be a faithful and fruitful follower of Jesus Christ. And when I’m discouraged because I’m a slow learner, help me to recognize any growth of the fruit of the Spirit in my life. 

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I love the Lord because he hears my voice
and my prayer for mercy.
Because he bends down to listen,
I will pray as long as I have breath!
– Psalm 116:1-2 (NLT)