Today’s Scripture Readings: Psalms 10:16-18 | Genesis 37:1 – 38:30 | Matthew 12:22-45 | Proverbs 3:27-32
Today’s Scripture Focus: Matthew 12:22-45
“A tree is recognized by its fruit . . . . For out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:33-38 NIV).
Our words say a lot about who we really are on the inside. They are one of the fruits of our inner life. Jesus reminds us: “out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” Our words often say a lot more about us than we realize.
You expect an apple tree to bear apples, a peach tree to produce peaches and a pear tree to bring forth pears. Similarly, you expect an angry person to produce angry words, a dishonest person to speak lies, and a negative person to criticize and put down other people. You expect a loving person to speak loving, encouraging words. A joyful person can be counted on to brighten up your day with words that bring you laughter.
Your words really do reveal your character.
To the follower of Christ, those words should be words that bless rather than curse; words that lift up rather than words that tear down. Instead of gossip and slander, the changed heart speaks words of hope and love.
Jesus also reminds us that we are accountable for our words. We will one day be accountable for every careless word we have spoken.
Do your words reflect a heart being transformed into the likeness of Jesus? As he changes you from the inside out, you should expect the fruit of your words to be consistent with the transformed heart within. Open your heart to Jesus. Allow him to transform your heart into his likeness . . . and your tongue.
Heavenly Father, cleanse my heart and let my words reflect the transforming work of your Spirit. Produce in me good fruit and words appropriate to the life of Jesus within me. Amen.