Earlier this month (August 2021) I began a study on Luke Chapter 6. Upon arriving at verse 43 the study changed, taking on a whole new life of its own: GOOD Fruit!
“You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives. It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.Luke 6:43-45 The Message Bible
For a few days the study meandered though Paul’s teaching on the Works of the Flesh as opposed to the Fruit of the Spirit.
Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, party spirit, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. . .the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.Galatians 5:19-23 RSV
Then we arrived at The Fruit of Your Life according to “The Passion Translation.”
“You’ll never find choice fruit hanging on a bad, unhealthy tree. And rotten fruit doesn’t hang on a good, healthy tree. Every tree will be revealed by the quality of fruit that it produces. You will never pick figs or grapes from thorn trees. People are known in this same way. Out of the virtue stored in their hearts, good and upright people will produce good fruit. Likewise, out of the evil hidden in their hearts, evil ones will produce what is evil. For the overflow of what has been stored in your heart will be seen by your fruit and will be heard in your words.Luke 6:43-45 The Passion Translation
And, with those verses the focus of the study changed again: “What has been stored in your heart. . .”
It hasn’t been all that long since my study on Ephesians warned:
. . . do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.Ephesians 4:30-32 RSV
Suddenly, the picture of my heart as a storehouse and Paul’s warning about bitterness, anger, etc. connected with a bang! I know I’ve shared before that scripturally the heart and the soul encompass the mind, the will and the emotions. Bang! Again!
At the end of May 2021 the dangers of bitterness are noted in my journal. When we begin thinking, “I thought surely . . .” as Naaman did in 2 Kings, chapter 5 we’re headed for trouble. Right after, “I thought surely . . .” comes disappointment, rapidly followed by bitterness and malice. When bitterness, anger, malice and unforgiveness are stored in the heart we start talking about that and moving away from intimacy with The Lord.
That line of thinking brought me back to my old Classic Amplified Bible and something I learned decades ago and have taught many, many times.
The upright (honorable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honorable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks.Luke 6:45 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks!
That’s when I knew it was high time to clean out my storage shed!
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.Proverbs 18:21
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