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A Tree Known By Its Fruit

Tags: evil
I woke up this morning with the phrase "brood of vipers" running through my head and my spirit.  I thought I would get up, drink some coffee, and forget about it but that isn't what happened.  I knew the phrase referred to the time Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew chapter 12 so I opened my bible while drinking my coffee and read the passage again.

Matthew 12:34-37:

"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 judgement.  For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned." 

This was pretty tough language from Jesus to use when speaking to the religious leaders of His time. I mean, he called them a den of snakes for all intents and purposes.  He also told them they couldn't speak good things because they were evil.  He also told them out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  I have made a few posts along these lines in the past, but this time what flew off the page at me was "For by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned." We often say things we don't mean to other people, or even about other people to other people.  

I was at work the other day and said something that is out of character for me.  I am not really sure why I said what I did, I only know that I was greatly convicted after I said and had to apologize to the person I was talking to. While what I said was not directed at the person I was talking to, I know it was offensive and an apology was in order.  I asked the Lord later why on earth something like that would have come out of my mouth.  I was reminded of something Paul said in Romans Chapter 7 verses 15-18:

"For what I am doing, I do not understand.  For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.  If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the  law that it is good.  But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find."

Sometimes the best intentions of our hearts are borne out of our flesh, the evil in which we were born. Our best intentions are borne out of what we put into our hearts.  Do we put good or do we put evil?  We can put in good and still have evil lurking so it is important that we stay on alert and guard our hearts closely.  I know I have to remember I am like Paul on occasion.  Why do I do what I do sometimes?  Why do I say what I say sometimes?  I don't know, but I do know that there is an abundance of grace available for when I do mess up and when I do let things outside of the word of God influence me.  I do not want to be condemned by my words on Judgement Day.  I want to hear "well done, good and faithful servant."  I want to know that I have pleased my King with the life I have lived.  I am thankful that He who started a good work in me is not yet finished.  (Phillipians 1:6)

This post first appeared on Living In The Word, please read the originial post: here

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A Tree Known By Its Fruit


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