TITHE AND DEVOTIONAL READING OF THE WEEK
OCTOBER 1, 2022
John 15:4—“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
We worship with our resources as a response to the call to bear fruits. John the Baptist appealed to those who were coming to him for baptism: “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt. 3:8). For John, baptism and being part of God’s people were not sufficient. The Gospel of Luke shares some concrete examples of the “fruit of repentance” that John the Baptist gave to those who came to him. He asked the tax collector not to collect any more than was required. He exhorted the soldiers not to “extort money” and to “be content with your pay.” And he commanded the crowd to share their second shirt and food with the one who does not have much (Luke 3:10-14). These examples reported by Luke have something in common; they are related to one’s attitudes toward finances and material possessions. The fruit of repentance involves being careful about the means used to obtain resources and using our resources to bless others.
The Bible tells the story of a man, Nabal, a son of Abraham, who was heavily blessed but did not bear the fruit of repentance in his material life. He refused to reward those who protected his flock and would harshly rebuke the servants of David who came to ask for some food. This attitude led his wife to call him wicked and to make the following comment: “He is just like his name—his name means Fool, and folly goes with him” (1 Sam. 25:25). Sadly, the following day, he had a stroke. Ten days later he died.
As we reflect on the need to bear more fruits of repentance in our material life, let us apply the advice of Jesus: “Remain in me as I also remain in you.” The result would be beyond expectation. This week, as we worship with our tithe and regular offerings, called Promise, we can bear fruits of repentance.
Lord, we want to bear fruits of repentance in all aspects of life. Please help us to remain connected to You daily through regular prayer and Bible study.