There are so many things in life today than can influence our hearts and minds – for both good – and bad – and the latter abound  – but it is up to us to control what enters our hearts.  How much to the point are the words of Jesus we read today in Matthew ch. 12!   Jesus drew simple word pictures – parables.  He said “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit.” [v.33]  So in our lives are ‘trees’ – they are ‘growing’ to produce fruit!  Our words and actions show the nature of the “fruit” that is developing! These are the thoughts that occupy and give direction to our lives – the result – in the end – of what we have allowed to enter our hearts.

Jesus spoke exceedingly bluntly to those who ‘attacked’ him, because they were very  jealous of his popularity.  He called them  a “brood of vipers.” [v.34]  Can you recognise the “vipers” surrounding you today?  If you were the centre of attention like Jesus, they would be more obvious!  But when such creatures are ”subtle’ they can be even more dangerous – and human hearts often act like sponges! It is not simply what our ears hear – but also what our eyes see – and we allow them to absorb!

How blessed are the hearts that are surrounded by good influences – most of all by the word of God – for all such – “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” and “the  good person out of his good treasure brings forth good …” [v.34,35] 

How much “good treasure” has developed in our hearts?  It will be revealed, said Jesus ” on the day of judgment (when) people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”  [v.36,37]   And today, we can additionally “speak” – instantly – and widely – by our written words – especially via our computers.

When we read Solomon’s Proverbs we can see that Jesus ‘mined’ some of his sayings from them; for example, “Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.” [13 v.3] and ” The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps. One who is wise is cautious …” [14 v.15,16]  How cautious do we need to be – as to what enters our heart, so that “the abundance of our heart” is full of “good treasure” to share with others as opportunity offers. Finally, remember what we read in James last month! “You have laid up treasure in the last days” [5 v.3] Check today as to how much “treasure” you have – to show our Lord when he comes – how soon now!?.

By Bro D.Caudery

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