MATTHEW 12:33-37: “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” NKJV
OBSERVATION: What is coming out of my mouth? This is a humbling question to ask ourselves. It is one of the quickest heart checks we can take. Jesus made it very clear,
- “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
Everyone has spoken things they regret. I know that I have put my foot in my mouth many times. It was as if I could see the words leaving my mouth but I could not stop them before the damage was done. However, I don’t think Jesus was speaking about the occasional slip of the tongue. Jesus was focused on something much deeper.
The Pharisees had just finished challenging Jesus’ disciples over their observation of the Sabbath and accusing Jesus of casting out devils by Satan. They were attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to the work of the enemy. With their mouths, they were justifying themselves and condemning the Son of God. To the Pharisee’s vitriol, Jesus responds,
- “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit. Brood of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things?”
Is there any parallel to this today? We live in a day when the spirit of the Pharisees is alive and well in the woke culture that is permeating the land. This woke culture calls for an end to hatred and purports to stand for inclusion. Yet, they vilify and condemn anyone who holds a different opinion than themselves. And, if that is a Biblical opinion it is twice condemned!
I am aware that there are those who call themselves Christian and act the same way. The reality is that to swing to the right or the left is to find yourself in the valley of error. Jesus spoke the truth to the Pharisees but He was always willing to forgive them if they repented. When He held discourse with Nicodemus, Jesus engaged Him in honest dialogue and called Nicodemus to new life in Him.
Over the past several years I have experienced a growing hatred in our culture for the church. Those who stand for Biblical values are framed as the enemy of society and the very cause of the inequity and hatred that is running rampant. Yet, if one takes a very objective view of this situation, they will see that the real hatred is flowing from the hearts of those who claim to be standing against hatred. Their hearts are revealed by the words they speak!
- “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.”
Jesus makes it very clear. If you want to justify yourself with your words, then you will be judged by your words! The Pharisees revealed their true heart by the very words they spoke. They justified themselves but their words revealed their true condition. Take a moment to honestly consider the consequences. Would you want to be judged by the words that you have spoken in your life?
In reality, we will all be judged by what we have spoken in our life. Yet, there is one thing that we can speak that changes our hearts and cleanses every misspoken word that has come out of our mouths. Paul writes in Romans,
- “But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation…For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Romans 10:8-10, 13 NKJV
When we confess Jesus Christ as Lord with our lips, when we call upon the name of the Lord, we are born again. Our sins are forgiven, we are given a new heart, and we begin to walk in the newness of life. A result of that is a change in the way we think and speak. As we grow in God’s Word, as we renew our minds, as we walk after the Spirit of God, our words begin to change. This is a great barometer to test the condition and growth of our spiritual life.
No one is truly good except God Himself. Yet, when we confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, He comes to live within us. He changes our hearts. He directs our life. The fruit of the Holy Spirit begins to grow in our life. And, the result is that we begin to speak words of life, words of forgiveness, words of truth in love. We will be justified by our words but only when our words are…
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
Heavenly Father, as David prayed, put a guard over my lips. Keep me from presumptuous sins. Create in me a clean heart and renew within me a right spirit. As You change my life – change the words that come out of my mouth. Let me begin each day with these words…
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!
In Jesus Name!