Matthew 3:8 “Therefore produce fruit consistent with repentance.” ~CSB
When I became a deacon at my church. I was very proud to hold the honor of the position. I taught the New Members Class and enjoyed teaching God’s word to hungry souls. Problem was, (and I didn’t know this yet), I wasn’t saved. I thought I was, but I wasn’t.
I believed in my heart God’s Word, but I now know that at that time, I did not know the love God has for me. For example, I would come across a scripture like, Ephesians 5:18 “And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit.” ~CSB
As an alcoholic, I would ignore that scripture. I would excuse my behavior and think, “That’s not me.” “I drink but I will not live a reckless life.” In fact, I skipped over that scripture and would find another one that spoke of ‘prosperity and wealth’. Picking my own scriptures to teach. I would later learn that this was not God’s way for me.
Repentance means deep sorrow for a past sin, wrongdoing, or the like. I was in a stage of convincing myself that I was doing nothing wrong. I was in denial. But because of loved ones praying for me, and the fact that I was in the Word of God every day, the intervention of the Holy Spirit led to my transformation. It was a painful transformation but one that had to be made. I was in the grip of a poison, and I could not break the grip under my own power.
When God took away my craving for alcohol, I became aware of many things. One of them being repentance. I was so grateful for God’s forgiveness and mercy in my transformation. Because of my accountability, my punishment could have been much worse. Friends and family look at me and how I walk because of my accident and feel sorry for me.
I tell them there is nothing to feel sorry for me about. This limp is a reminder of who I was and who I’ll never go back to being. I am now "...filled with the Holy Spirit..." Repentance was born from all the pain and gratefulness. It is repentance you hear in my sermons. It is repentance you hear when I teach, and it is repentance you see in my actions.
I pray that the fruit produced from my lifestyle in Christ blesses others God places in my path. I pray that God’s healing hand always stays on my shoulders and guides me to teach, preach and walk in His will and way. This is the calling of a servant. I live my life for the One who gave up His life for me.
I don’t deserve it, but He did it anyway. This is where my repentance stands every day. The fruit born of this will be God’s will in blessings to others He allows me to serve.
May the Lord bless and keep you in Jesus’ name,
Authors Billy & Yolanda
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