March 23, 2019
Luke 6:43-45 New Living Translation (NLT)
Today is the sixteenth day of our 40-Day Lenten Series, “Praying for a Kingdom Heart.” Lent should be a time of prayerful reflection, repentance, and restoration as we draw closer to the heart of God. Recently, I had an experience that captured my attention and made me pause for reflection; I believe God allowed it for my benefit and growth, as well as the growth of others whom I would teach. I was a target of a stranger’s escalating impatience while driving; I was in this person’s way and there was nothing I could do to avoid or change things. I am grateful for the experience, because it gave me an opportunity to look deep in my heart for the presence of Truth; to assess my spiritual growth in Christ in the Light of this encounter. As part of my reflection time, I turned inward to ask, “When things aren’t going the way I think they should, do I still represent the Truth (Lord of Love) in how I treat others?” The world demands its own way; sinful flesh demands its own way and seeks to justify evil behavior. But, Love does not demand its own way and abides in Truth (1 Cor. 13:5). Therefore, there should be a visual and spiritual contrast between the world’s way of treating others and Christ’s way. How do you treat the people around you? What kind of fruit is your mouth producing?
As children of God, we must never forget how we speak to or treat someone else is an outside snapshot of who is sitting on the throne of our hearts. We can attend worship, sing songs, raise our hands, perform good deeds, and act godly at church, but whose character do we reflect every day? When we produce actions that are void of the Truth of God’s character, we are not producing the life of God. This is Truth whether we are behind the steering wheel of a car, speaking to family, friend, or stranger, or living contrary to God’s commands. If the Lord is not on the throne of our hearts, we will not produce the fruit of the Kingdom.
In the sixth chapter of the Gospel of Luke we see a series of contrasts. First, there is a blind man trying to guide another blind man. Second, there is a person who draws attention to the speck in his neighbor’s eye never realizing he has a log sticking out of his own. Third, we see two trees—one good and one bad. All of these examples from the Lord point to a spiritual condition that requires repentance; hypocrisy.
During Lent, we will be using the acronym P.R.A.Y. as we pray for a Kingdom Heart. P=praise, R=repent, A=ask, and Y=yield. May God bless you as you spend time in God’s Word and in prayer today.
Luke 6:43-45 The Tree and Its Fruit
43 “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. 45 A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
Prayer: Heavenly Father and Creator, I praise you for your amazing patience and kindness to me as your child. I have received blessings and abundance from your hand and I have done nothing to deserve it. Jesus stands to represent me before you, so I repent of my own spiritual hypocrisy. Please forgive me. I ask you to help me live in the Truth of your Love every day and continue to convict me of anything in my heart that would produce bad fruit or misrepresent you. I choose to yield to your righteous fruit-producing Spirit. In Jesus’ name. Amen.