S - Luke 3:9-14 (NASB)
9 Indeed the axe is already laid at the root of the trees; so every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”
10 And the crowds were questioning him, saying, “Then what shall we do?” 11 And he would answer and say to them, “The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.” 12 And some tax collectors also came to be baptized, and they said to him, “Teacher, what shall we do?” 13 And he said to them, “Collect no more than what you have been ordered to.” 14 Some soldiers were questioning him, saying, “And what about us, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not take money from anyone by force, or accuse anyone falsely, and be content with your wages.”
O - The audience here is those that John the Baptist was speaking to that came to be baptized. He knew some of them were true in their repentance and genuine in their intention to reconcile with God and follow Him. Others he knew such as the Pharisee's and scribes had come to see who this John the Baptist was and they likely had unrepentant hearts and had not bore the fruit of God and his kingdom to come. So John answered their question what are they to do (to bare fruit) and gave them some acts of kindness and humbleness that would be hard for the prideful and set in their religious ways to uphold, thus separating the trees to be cut down from those that are to bare fruit.
A - The application for me is to watch my own tree for the fruit it is baring. If I see the fruit I can walk in confidence that the Lord will not have to cut me down. If I find a lake of selfless to share my possessions with others, greediness to collect more money than I deserve, or abuse my authority over those I lead I must repent and seek God's forgiveness. In this season I sense I do have the fruit of a Christian, though it feels like a winter season of little production I must trust in the surety of my relationship with God, and wait patiently on Him for the next season of abundant fruitfulness.
P - Dear heavenly Father, thank you for today's lesson, may it be sealed to my heart I pray Lord you would continue to guide and motivate me in this season to keep looking forward to your plans for my life and up to you for strength and peace, wisdom and discernment. I pray all this in Jesus matchless name, Amen.