Words from the Heart for Wednesday October 16th, 2019
Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
Matthew 12:33-34 (NKJV)
Fruit From The Heart
Dutch Elm Disease was introduced into Canada around 1940. The fungus causes a vascular wilt that results in browning of the foliage and kills affected trees. Because their sap supply is cut off and fungal toxins poison them, the affected parts of the tree wilt and eventually die; this process can take a few days or a few years. Sadly, the majority of Canada’s elm trees have died off.
I am fortunate enough to live near a fruit belt, and have come to be able to tell the difference between an apple tree and a cherry tree, or a peach tree and an apricot tree. But I’m not an orchardist, so I can’t point to a tree and say “that one is healthy” or “that tree isn’t healthy.” Not, at least, until the fruit appears, or doesn’t appear. If a fruit tree isn’t bearing much fruit, or any, it’s a given that it isn’t a healthy tree. Jesus uses this analogy in Matthew 12:33-34 to speak of a person’s spiritual health: “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” We can judge our spiritual health by the fruit that our lives bear. The religious people to whom Jesus was speaking thought they were spiritually healthy. But the fruit of their lives was condemnation and a judgmental attitude. A heart that is truly transformed by God’s grace will bear the fruit of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
These have been words from the heart.