Tonight our young adults pastor at my church presented a message called Renovation of the Heart. The message circled around the verses of Matthew 12:34 and Luke 12:34.
"33Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."
Some might look at this verse and say "well I just need to watch what I say" but instead the verse is speaking to the fact that what's inside us is what's going to come out. If we have hearts of love then love is going to flow out abundantly, but if we have blackness inside, then that's what's going to come out in forms like guilt, anger, greed, and jealousy. The fruit's condition is a portrait of the tree's condition. The outpouring of ourselves reveals what we are like inside. The anger or guilt we experience reveals in us a heart problem.
"34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
How true is that statement? Where you spend your time, your thoughts, your energy is where your heart truly lies. Is it with God or is it with your job...relationship...school...friendships?
Ben, our young adults pastor, gave a demonstration. He had a cup full of black beads which represented us. The cup sat in a truck that represented life. The truck proceeded to 'hit some bumps as it headed down the road'. Black beads flew all over the stage again and again. Did the bumps cause the black beads to come out of the cup? No. The bumps spurred a reaction, but the fact that black beads came out of the cup is because they were in it in the first place. What if the cup had had something else in it? Then that would have been what would have showed itself. "The black beads came out of me because they were in me."
Work on the tree needs to be done. It's a heart work, and no one else can do it for you. It's between you and God. Only you can do it. It's a work that takes place behind the scenes. No one can see the condition of your heart, other than by looking at your fruit. And eventually they can put the pieces together. If you don't do the work then some day down the line everyone's going to see how ugly the condition of your heart is.
If that doesn't hit home I don't know what does. I personally know I have some work to do on my heart. If you don't make changes as far as being, then all of your doing will be pointless. One of Ben's quotes from the evening was "I am not who I want to be." which reminded me of one of my favorite quotes said by a character on a show I watch. The character of Kate Beckett on Castle said "I want to be more than I am." which is so true of me. The first step in making a heart change is recognizing you need it. The next is prayer.
So the questions that we were left with tonight and that I will leave you with are these:
Do you know the condition of your heart?
Are you willing to do the work necessary to find out the condition of your heart?
Are you willing to make yourself available to your Heavenly Father so that he can do the work only He can do in your heart?