“Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 3:8, 10 NIV

I used to hate going through the emissions inspection years ago because I had a “hooptie!” My 1987 Ford Ranger truck would often fail admissions because it admitted too much Carbon dioxide. I needed a catalytic converter to prevent too many harmful emissions into the air. I didn’t understand then but it was the City’s job to keep the air as clean as possible so that required an inspection of what I was putting out into the atmosphere.

I wonder if God were to require an annual inspection of us to see what we were “putting out in the atmosphere” if we would pass his test or not? Are we helping to make the air cleaner or polluting it by what we emit? What are we putting out there on our Facebook walls? What are the words coming out of our mouths? What fruit is our life producing?

When John the Baptist saw the religious leaders in line to be baptized or inspected he told them they needed to show the fruit of repentance. In other words don’t come through here looking like you have a clean car and your conversion isn’t accurate. You have a form of godliness but what you are putting out doesn’t match God’s character. Produce fruit that shows you have repented!

1. Jesus is the catalytic converter. We cannot produce fruit outside of Jesus. Jesus said, “I am the vine and you are the branches. If you abide in me you will bear much fruit!”

2. Repentance comes before fruit. Repent means to turn away from what you were doing wrong. You can’t put in cheap gas and think it will help your emissions. Whatever you put in is what comes out. Do not be deceived. Whatever you sow is what you reap. What kind of fruit we produce depends upon what kinds of seeds we sow.

3. Our fruit depends upon our seeds. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Galatians 6:8

4. The fruit of the Spirit is what allows us to pass inspection. Jesus and the Holy Spirit convert our humanity into righteous emissions. Without them we fail inspection. With them we produce good fruit! 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5

Dear God,

Help me this year to pass inspection. I repent of anything that would cause me not to pass. I will make a spirit led decision about what I put in my temple. You’ve been too good to me to keep trying to pass inspection without a true conversion. I will put in only what’s best for my body, mind, and spirit. I’m upgrading to Super! I need your Super natural power of the Holy Spirit to change me from the inside out. Thank you for giving me grace to come back through when I failed inspection and thank you for letting me pass through this year. This is the year I produce more fruit!

In Jesus Name,

Amen