I was listening to a podcast this morning that asked a question: when was the last time someone wanted to take a bite of out you? On it’s own the question might make you think of that in a negative way. In context, the message was speaking of abiding in the Lord Jesus, allowing Him to steer our lives, illuminate our pathway, and not be independent, but instead to depend upon Him as our life source. For it is the Spirit of the Lord who produces good fruit in our lives — fruit that is noticed by others who are drawn to what we have.
“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 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 his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:43-45)
Let’s look first at “an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil”. God’s Word says that evil is the work of the flesh, which is our carnal, sinful nature. “Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry [putting anything before the Lord], sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal 5:19-21)
Looking at that list, I notice that it’s what the world tells us is a good time and our right to scream at others who don’t share our viewpoints. But God’s Word says that our opinions and viewpoints are of the flesh if it doesn’t line up with His Word. There’s a great contrast between the fruit of the Spirit and the fruit of the flesh.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” (Gal 5:22-26) When I look at this list, it truly says “love one another”. The previous list says love myself and what I want. “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
Lord, I know there are times that I speak from the place of my selfish desires and ambitions. Lord, I ask that You point out these times to me so that I can immediately repent and following Your Way, Your Truth, and Your Light so that it is You who lives in me, and no longer my selfish nature. Thank You for the reminder this morning that the fruit that we bear is for the good of others, not for ourselves. Lord, there must be less of me and more of You. Lord, I ask that I don’t just hold onto this truth for a moment, but that it becomes who I am, because it is You who lives in me. I am a new creature because You have made me new, and I thank You for Your loving compassion. In the precious name of Jesus, amen.