Matthew 12:33-37 The Message (MSG)
Yesterday, I had the great joy of sharing a discussion with a gentlemen who stopped by the church. Our Connect2Christ Church building used to be home to a series of banks and this man worked for one of the early banks. He wanted to see how we had remodeled the bank building; he was impressed with the appearance and how welcoming it had become. However pleasant the physical appearance may be of the church, it is the heart of the Body that I care most about. Is the building filled with the tangible presence of God as revealed through the love and nurture of the people? Do the people in the building reflect the character and attitude of Christ as they lay down their lives to help others experience Jesus? Have the people formed relationships built upon mercy, but passionate to know the Truth and live it? If not, the physical building might look good, but the inside substance of the building will be diseased and powerless. I thank God everyday for the debt-free C2C building, but I praise God for the heart of the people who come to worship God there, as well as seek to exalt him in their lives!
In our passage today, Jesus has an encounter with the Pharisees in which he takes issue. They reject Jesus as the Messiah and they spew all kinds of fake info about him to the people. Jesus is not passive to the Pharisee’s insults or attacks and he speaks truth about their evil thoughts and attitudes. He puts them in their place and cautions them about their words and how those words tell God a whole lot about the disease that lives within them. The Pharisees care about the appearance and political correctness of things, but Jesus does not. He cares about what spills forth from our hearts through our words.
33 “If you grow a healthy tree, you’ll pick healthy fruit. If you grow a diseased tree, you’ll pick worm-eaten fruit. The fruit tells you about the tree.
34-37 “You have minds like a snake pit! How do you suppose what you say is worth anything when you are so foul-minded? It’s your heart, not the dictionary, that gives meaning to your words. A good person produces good deeds and words season after season. An evil person is a blight on the orchard. Let me tell you something: Every one of these careless words is going to come back to haunt you. There will be a time of Reckoning. Words are powerful; take them seriously. Words can be your salvation. Words can also be your damnation.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the love I have for you and your people. Keep our hearts growing and producing healthy fruit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
FYI: It has come to my attention the Scripture reference from yesterday’s devotion was incorrect. The passage and verse I used came from Psalm 21:13. Now, I thought I was seeing a bit better since my eye surgery, but I can tell I need more prayers! lol…laughter is good medicine!