Bring Forth Fruit That Is Meet

As of late, I’ve found myself having a desire to feel better and to add to the quality of my life. For this to take place, it is imperative that I get back in shape. Believe it or not, there was a time in my life, where I had less than 5% body fat, ran (not jogged) at least 3 miles every day, and still have plenty of energy to go to work, plus do everything else I wanted to do.  

However, after a very long hiatus of many, many years of inactivity (other than the once a year personal tradition of jogging/walking the Peachtree Road Race) – I now, find myself gasping for air after walking only a few blocks; and to make matters worse, this only a couple times a week! There was a time, when I could eat and drink anything I wanted – and my metabolism would dissolve it very quickly – now my stomach is overlapping my beltline regardless of how healthy I eat!  

I literally, have to “get in shape” in order to get back in shape! I know it sounds like an oxymoron – but, because I “let myself go” and didn’t keep up with maintaing a healthy body…I now find myself soooo far out of shape – that I have to build myself up in order carry out the simplest demands placed upon my body.

This is probably, what John meant when he said, “bring forth fruit meet for repentance” {Matthew 3:8} Of course, as it is often said, “Timing is everything” {Ecclesiastes 3:13}; and during this season in particular God is “calling” for REPENTANCE! Not only as a nation, but individually as well.

Repentance is an opportunity to return back to God. To restore everything that was seemingly lost (both spiritually and materially), and to remove the blockages that hinder our connection with God.

However, we must “get in shape spiritually” (bring forth fruit) in order to get back in shape – or in this sense – in order to bring about true and lasting repentance. Simply stated, we must get in shape, in order to get BACK in shape. What do I mean?

Well, it’s been said, that to repent means to change one’s mind. But, I say, that to repent means to change one’s State of Being entirely. For this type of repentance to take place, we MUST change our mindset (bringing forth fruit) – so that our soul and spirit is united back with God (meet for repentance). Likewise, me walking a few blocks twice a week probably get me back to where I used to be. However, it does prepare my mind and body to exert itself more until I eventually get to that place (bring forth fruit meet…). For me to get back at least half-way where I was years ago physically, I must undergo I radical change in my mindset. I must not look for an easy way out. I must consciously examine what I eat and drink. And I MUST prepare my mind so that my body will follow.

This must also take place in the spirit for us to REPENT! This, however, is not an easy process! Bringing forth the fruit of a changed mind and renewed spirit means embarking on the ever so dreaded self-examination process. {2 Corinthians 13:5} This inward examination process includes (but not limited to):

  • Looking back over the course of this year and seeing how many people we offended (whether intentionally or not)!
  • Did we mistreat, or use anybody to fulfill our own selfish wants and desires?
  • Did we GIVE our tithes (not just in a typical sense – but did we feed or visit the “poor” or those in need)?
  • Were we disobedient to God’s direction for OUR lives (not someone else – remember my ACTION is King!)?
  • Were we impeccable with our word? Meaning, did we promise to do something and not come through?

…or any other thing that comes to mind, that appears to separate us from our Creator!

But, please take note (and this is very important!): Even in during this season of self-examination, we still must do it cheerfully and with gratitude! {Psalm 100:2A} Real repentance is not in our tears, what we regret, or in feeling sorry for ourselves. Repentance is a season where we can become fully aware that we are and will always be ONE WITH GOD:

  • Deuteronomy 31:6 (NIV) – Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. 
  • Romans 8:38-39 (KJV)

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

True repentance means not seeking God’s Hand (what “He” can do for us) – but, seeking God’s Face (Being in “His” Presence); so we must be truthful with ourselves. {Psalm 101:7} Attempting to run a marathon when, I currently can’t even walk a couple of blocks is fooling myself. Getting back to this point will be a painful and arduous process. 

Just remember God didn’t move it is us who changed. 

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV) – The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 

Just as in the physical sense, whipping our spiritual bodies back into shape is difficult at first, but the rewards far outweigh the struggle…we just have to keep at it..until as it says, in Psalm 16:11(English Standard Version): You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore! 

Now, Let’s Get BACK To Where We Know We’re Supposed To BE!!

__________________________________________

Dwayne B. NealTeam N.A.M.E.S.
“Knowledge is power, but ACTION is King!”

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