A Tree and Its Fruit
(Matthew 7.17-20; 12.34b,35)
43A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit. 44 You can tell what a tree is like by the fruit it produces. You cannot pick figs or grapes from thornbushes. 45 Good people do good things because of the good in their hearts, but bad people do bad things because of the evil in their hearts. Your words show what is in your heart.
46Why do you keep on saying that I am your Lord, when you refuse to do what I say? 47Anyone who comes and listens to me and obeys me 48is like someone who dug down deep and built a house on solid rock. When a flood came and the river rushed against the house, it was built so well that it didn't even shake. 49But anyone who hears what I say and doesn't obey me is like someone whose house wasn't built on solid rock. As soon as the river rushed against that house, it was smashed to pieces!
A foundation always shows – eventually, though not overtly. The foundation lies underground, hidden from direct observation, waiting for its time when it will show its quality. A poorly founded home will appear the same as any other home until it is tested by the storm. It is under pressure that the importance of the foundation will be seen – and the pressure always comes, eventually.
You get what you plant. If you plant a fig tree, you don’t expect to harvest grapes. If you want your fig to be healthy and abundant you need to make sure you get your roots down deep, because it is what is under the ground that will indicate what you produce above the ground. A cracked foundation will cause a ruptured home. Roots that lie too close to the surface will support a superficial product. Evil in the heart leads to desperation on the outside, just as surely as a house built on sand will wash away at the first sign of flooding.
If you want healthy fruit, plant healthy roots. If you want a life that is strong and sustaining, then build your life upon a strong foundation. Keep your heart from evil. Meditate on things that are pure, right, and holy.
When house hunting, it is easy to be swayed by a beautiful exterior. A nice yard and a fresh coat of paint can conceal the problems that lie beneath. The same holds true for people themselves. We put a lot of effort into our exterior presentation. We can look pretty good on the surface. It won’t take long, however, for the truth to be revealed. All a person needs to do is open their mouth. “For out of the mouth, the heart is revealed.”
Dear Lord, I admit I find it easier to attend to how I appear on the surface than attending to the spiritual foundation of my life. Forgive me for this shortsightedness. I give you the freedom to do what you need to strengthen the foundation of my life. Amen.