“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” (Matthew 12:33) and “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person brings good things out of good treasure, and the evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure” (Luke 6:45)
Recently our family decided that each of us would spend some time looking at all the boxes of junk we have stored up in our basement with a mind to getting rid of all this tired old stuff we have collected over the years. In other words it’s time for a good Spring cleaning and why not. On March 1st Lent begins this year. But friends, it’s not just time to clean out the dirty old boxes of junk, it’s also time to clean out our hearts of all the grievances, the anger, and mistrust we each have accumulated over time. We need to listen to our hearts to know where we stand. What sorts of things do we say to each other? What sorts of things do we think about ourselves and about other people? Jesus said, “I Tell you on the Day of Judgement you will have to give an account of every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
We own a fruit farm and we are hoping to see beautiful new growth on our apple, pear and cherry trees. But we won’t see these developments without first pruning all the dead and disfigured parts of the trees. Of course, the same is true for ourselves; we want to see our lives in Christ open and to experience growth by putting out beautiful petals and bearing only good fruit.
Personal or Bible Study Discussion Questions:
- We all constantly hear rumours, tales, backstories and innuendo. Do we really need to acquire, (or do we need to divert ourselves of) these? Is all this junk cluttering up our hearts and poisoning us?
- The reading above of Luke 6:45 speaks of treasures. Where might we pick up some of these good treasures? Consider Philippians 4:8. Which people in our life can we turn to for love, encouragement and personal growth?
- Hey, it’s a fact: It is hard work growing, pushing forth new and good fruit. Who does God say will “mount up like eagles, and run and not get weary?” Read Isaiah 40:41.
- With Lent beginning on March 1st, do you think it is a good idea to get out the cleaner and to wash our hearts white?
Other Relevant Scriptures:
- “ Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be whiter than snow” (Isaiah 1:18)
- “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a right spirit in me. Cast me not away from Thy presence and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:10-11)
Written by Heather Whitehouse, Ontario 1stVP/Chaplain, The King’s Daughters and Sons, February, 2017