The good person out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil person out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.Luke 6:45 NASB2020
“The one who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.’ ”John 7:38 NASB2020
Jesus has the very words of life. God is a life giving Spirit. He spoke all of Creation into existence. Clearly, the Word of God is powerful.
One thing we must remember is that our words have power. Power to wound and power to heal.
We are relational beings. All of life is a web of relationships. COVID has stressed, fractured and emphasized the relationships we maintain. What we took for granted now takes intentional effort to engage and sustain.
The Epistle of James, chapter 3, speaks directly to the power of the tongue and how we should conduct ourselves toward others. It relates to the Scriptures I felt led to share today.
Our hearts are revealed by the words we speak. God is in the heart transformation business. We all know that the human heart is deceitfully wicked. It’s familiar to us, so it seems real to us, but it is not true to God’s heart. That’s why we need the power of God’s Holy Spirit in us to transform us from carnally minded to Christ centered.
One thing I’ve learned in life, ministry and recovery is that behavior modification, or sin management, doesn’t work. Through sheer force of will we can change our behaviors or present a false front to others to hide our true, broken selves, but it won’t hold up over the long haul. Our hearts will betray us.
In light of that, why don’t we do what works? Be authentic, transparent and honest about who you are and what you’re struggling with. I recently heard a leader state that the Church is the most codependent organization in existence. We ignore our own needs and focus on meeting other people’s needs. And there’s truth to that. We’re all interconnected and should bear one another’s burdens. Yet, if we’re hiding what’s causing us trouble in our walk with God or denying our own feelings, how will anyone know how to encourage us or pray for us?
I asked the Lord yesterday what this year was going to be about for me. He answered me with one word, devotion. He always knows how to get to the heart of the matter.
Where is my devotion? Is my faith merely a show? Who am I when nobody’s watching? What is my highest allegiance? Who is the most important person in my life? How am I nurturing and growing that relationship? Where is my most precious and limited resource, time, being invested? These questions bring my heart into focus.
We all know the book answers, what the Bible says. But it’s in the doing where we reveal our hearts to God, ourselves and our neighbors.
Look at your life. Is this a testimony of a life lived in unity with God? I’m coming back to center. If I’m not building on a firm foundation, my house will collapse when the storms of life come and there are storms a plenty.
Ministry is not an external activity separate from who we are. Sure, the recipients of our service are outside of ourselves, but true ministry is simply an overflow of our hearts being filled with God’s Spirit. We move from duty and obligation to caring and genuine concern for the welfare of others.
From our innermost being rivers of living water will flow. They will flow from our hearts and out of our mouths. God will put His words on our lips. Those words are living and active and will not return void. You may not see the impact immediately, sometimes you will. Sometimes people put up a stoic front as their hearts are penetrated by the message of God. Sometimes those words take root, sometimes the devil comes to steal them away. The important thing is to just let your heart be filled with love as you speak the truth to everyone you encounter.
We cannot be ashamed of the Gospel. It is God’s power to save. We cannot be ashamed of God’s Son, Jesus, or He will be ashamed of us on Judgment Day. It is time to be unabashedly sold-out for our Savior. Who cares if people don’t agree with you? We’re not here to be popular, we’re here to be faithful.
Let me wrap up by saying that God will fulfill all of His promises to those who love Him. Hold on to Jesus and extend a helping hand to those in need. This is the year of my devotion. Where will that lead? God only knows but I’ll be better for it.
I encourage you, do what Scripture says, put God first. He’s God for a reason. He’s all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present, and all-loving. There’s nothing else worth your devotion! If you follow Him, He will provide everything you need. It’s guaranteed in Scripture by the very words of Jesus.
My prayer for you today is that God would completely fill you with His Spirit and that it would overflow out of you into every relationship you have. Take it easy. God’s got everything under control. Just trust and obey and do things God’s way. The Father knows best!
We don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We don’t know what’s around the bend. Yet, we do know that we are in God’s hands and He will take us home to be with Him if we finish the race without losing our faith.
Be encouraged, God loves you. He desires to spend every moment with you. He is ready and faithful to forgive and restore you should you stumble. Like a child learning to walk, what parent would punish their little one if they trip and fall? No, they would comfort and encourage their toddler to get back up and try again. We’re all God’s children. Be the light you want to see shining in these dark times. In the Name of the Lord Jesus, amen.