In those days John the Baptist appeared in the desert of Judea announcing, “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” He was the one of whom Isaiah the prophet spoke when he said: The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,Prepare the way for the Lord; make his paths straight.” John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. People from Jerusalem, throughout Judea, and all around the Jordan River came to him. As they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. Many Pharisees and Sadducees came to be baptized by John. He said to them, “You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire. I baptize with water those of you who have changed your hearts and lives. The one who is coming after me is stronger than I am. I’m not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.” (Matthew 3:1-12, CEB)

You will know a tree by its fruit.

I remember when I was baptized a friend’s father asked if I believed that Jesus was Lord and Son of God and I said yes. He said good otherwise you just got dunked in water. Now for those of you who are Lutheran and think I was baptized as an infant, I was not. Even though I am a Lutheran pastor, I was baptized a Baptist when I was 17. It was a cleansing in the water and the sign of a life changed. The fruit was different from this guy.

So how do we see fruit differently from people, because even after I was dunked, people thought it didn’t take because I didn’t fit their mold for what a good fruit is.

The mold to fit in is not of any human, but God’s.

We can not make humans happy, we must strive to follow where God is leading.

Live your life so that God’s grace and mercy flow through you to the world around you.

Love Out Loud.

Loving People. Loving God.