Friday, November 12, 2010

The heart-mouth connection

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Luke 6:37-49

TO CHEW ON: "A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks." Luke 6:45

Have you ever heard someone make a rude or unfeeling statement and then try to back-peddle by saying something like, "I don't know where that came from; it's so unlike me." Maybe you've done it yourself.

The trouble is, attempts to change another's impression of us by claiming surprise at what we've just said is entirely useless. Because, as our focus verse today points out, what we say, whether impulsive or not, is like us.

Though, as Proverbs implies, it is possible to hide our thoughts with our speech (some wag has even said, "The purpose of speech is to disguise thought") eventually what is inside us comes out — especially when we're jostled.

Luke 6:45 pictures our heart as a storehouse from which we bring treasure.
Treasure (Thesauros) is:
"1. The place in which good and precious things are collected and laid up (casket, coffer, receptacle where valuables are kept, a treasure, storehouse repository).
2. The things laid up in a treasury."

How can we make sure our hearts are a treasury of good things? A sidebar article in my Bible makes this comment about this passage:

"Jesus motivates His disciples to live righteously by emphasizing that such living comes from the heart through faith with love and in trust....Remember that your words and actions flow out of your love relationship with Jesus. Never undervalue obedience." - "Truth-In-Action through the Synoptics," New Spirit Filled Life Bible, p. 1438 (emphasis added).

Henry Blackaby says, " Everything in your Christian life, everything about knowing God and experiencing Him, everything about knowing His will depends on the quality of your love relationship with God." - Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God Workbook p. 53, emphasis added).

It is our love relationship with God that motivates toward obedience. God's word tells us what to do with the "works of the flesh" (many of which start out as thoughts: lust, hatred, selfish ambition, envy, jealousy, conceit, for example). We need to replace them by walking in the Spirit and nourishing its fruits (Galatians 5:16-26). As we, in obedience, root out those "flesh works," even to the extent of shunning them in our thought life, and in their place cultivate the fruits of the Spirit, our hearts will become a true treasury that will flow out in good words no matter how we're bumped.

PRAYER: Dear God, I should probably be thanking You for "slips of the tongue," where I reveal to others and myself the bad stuff stored in the treasury of my heart. Help me to love You more, so that obedience becomes the most important thing. Amen.

Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.

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