Luke 6:43 “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. 45 A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Interesting concept in this passage of scripture. The idea of storing up things in our heart.
Have you ever said: “This or that always brings out the worst in me.” Maybe it’s people, maybe it’s politics, maybe it’s your boss.
Truth is, that’s just blame-shifting. While they may “bring it out” that wouldn’t be coming out if it wasn’t already in there.
In other words, we aren’t “evil” because of our circumstances. Our circumstances simply reveal the condition of our hearts.
When our first response is anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language, deceit, etc., it’s because that’s what is in there. The circumstances that led to us responding in that way are really irrelevant.
Jeremiah 17:9 says: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
The condition of our hearts apart from God is selfish. That’s why, unless we are living in the fullness of God’s love (yesterday’s post), we shouldn’t follow our hearts.
So, if you’re in a situation that reveals that your heart is still full of evil, what do you do?
Well, the only real true solution is to store up good things in our hearts.
We’ve probably spent way too much time consuming various form of media and entertainment that have filled our hearts with things that at best are amoral and at worst immoral. If we’re not careful, we will end up filling our hearts with rubbish. And that’s what will come out.
How do we do that?
We store up good in our hearts by reading God’s Word and meditating on it day and night.
Am I spending time reading God’s truth? Am I thinking about it day and night? Do I intensely focus on it? Or is it something I do to get through as quickly as I can, if at all?
We store up good in our hearts by spending time praying, and letting God search our hearts.
Are my prayers simply asking God for stuff, if I pray at all? Do I listen in times of prayer for God to speak to me and let him address issues that are in my heart? Do I let Him speak love into me?
By worshipping God.
Do the things of God consume my attention and my affection? Do I give God my undivided attention? Do I give God my undivided affection?
By living in community with other believers who sharpen us as iron sharpens iron.
Am I in deep layers of community with other believers who are being filled up with the same love, who know me well enough to know when I’ve been filling my heart with the wrong things? Am I participating in the family of God or am I being a lone ranger?
By pouring out our hearts into others.
Am I letting God’s love flow through me into the lives of those around me? Am I a conduit through which God’s love flows, or do I just hoard it all to myself? Do I let Him move me and prompt me to do and say things I wouldn’t normally say?
This is how we store up good. We have to be careful that we not consuming so much of the world that we are becoming like it.
What have the circumstances of your life revealed about your heart lately?