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God’s Word for You

Luke 6:45 good out of the good

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, February 1, 2018

45 The good person brings what is good out of the good stored in his heart, and the evil person brings what is evil out of the evil within.  To be sure, what his mouth speaks flows from the heart.

Some listeners or readers might not really have a lot of interest in trees or bushes and their fruit. But Jesus, the Master Teacher, knows this. He knows that some of us only think of fruit and other foods as coming from the marketplace. If that’s the case, fine. Jesus can use an example from ordinary life and our familiarity with countless people in our lives. For example, what about an evil mouth? Do you expect an evil or wicked man to say good things? If a man has a filthy way of speaking, a real potty mouth, swearing a blue streak so revolting that you wonder whether he can possibly eat with that mouth, do you expect him to proclaim the gospel of the forgiveness of sins? And there are darker and even worse things that can come out of a mouth than a stream of swear words.

I knew a woman once who was the mother of many children, and after a few pregnancies, she had trouble losing weight. Her husband was often cruel to her with his words. Maybe he didn’t realize how painful it was for her to endure what he thought was just a little teasing, but for her it was misery, agony, and pain for the rest of her life.

We all have a way of letting what’s in our minds slip out of our mouths when our guard is down, or after a beer or two, or when we’re tired, frustrated, sick, or angry. That’s why we need to be careful about what’s in our minds. The Devil can’t read your mind (1 Kings 8:39), but God can (Psalm 94:11). “God is far greater than our hearts, and he knows everything” (1 John 3:20). But sometimes we act like we’ve forgotten that we can read our own minds. After all, I know what I’m thinking. I also know that my thoughts are both an enemy and a friend. They are an enemy because they will betray me when my sinful flesh betrays me. But by the grace of the Holy Spirit, I can change my thoughts into being my allies and my friends. I can think differently than I do, and I can make an effort to change my attitude about a person, an event, or even a doubt or a fear. I can also pray and ask God to help me to do these things. With the help of the Holy Spirit I can even transform the way I think about an enemy into someone with whom I want to share the gospel.

And more than this! With the help of the Holy Spirit, you can transform your attitude about that quirks in your spouse (that idiosyncrasy that you think drives you crazy) into something you treasure dearly; something that relates to something in their past and which is all wrapped up in making them who they are and who you love. Ask for God’s help, because you, you good, saved, Christian person, have good stored up in your heart, courtesy of God the Holy Spirit. Make sure you know that. God is the one who put the good there (2 Timothy 1:14; 1 Corinthians 12:7-11; Nehemiah 9:20). Don’t get your own sinful junk all over God’s good stuff. Just bring out the good, to give God glory, and to give love to the people you love.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.

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