Monday, October 13, 2008

Tree and Light

October 13: Matthew 12 & Luke 11

33 “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. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Matthew 12:33-37

33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
Luke 11:33-36

Tree and Light

Jesus often used analogies when speaking to the people to help them to better understand true faith. Many people profess Christ, but unfortunately, not all of them are true Christians.
In today's reading Jesus used a tree and light to demonstrate this point.

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. . . . The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

I grew up in apple and cherry country in Wisconsin; in summer I picked cherries to earn money for school clothes. Of course, we always wanted to pick from trees that were loaded with fruit, but every once in a while we would come upon a tree that was loaded, but was loaded with bad fruit. We were not allowed to pick from that tree, and when the picking season was over, the owner of that orchard would cut down that tree and replace it with a new tree.

Christ said that we are like trees! If Christ lives within us it will be evident by the good fruit that we produce. However, if we are filled with wickedness the only fruit that we can possibly bear is bad fruit. That was the point when Jesus said to the Pharisees,

You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

In an analogy from Luke 11, Jesus uses the example of light.

34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness.

When I speak to people I try to look directly into their eyes; so much is revealed about a person in their eyes. Christ says, Your eye is the lamp of your body.

As Christians, what do we do with our light? Do we try to hide it under a bushel, or do we let it shine forth as a beacon of light, showing the way of salvation to all those around us who are still cast into darkness? Christ warns us to be careful that the light in us is not darkness.

When we become Christians, it is not the end for us, but rather the beginning! God has a specific purpose for us to shine the light He has given us into the darkness of sin all around us. Is that easy to do? No, it is not, but Christ, who gives us the light, will also give us the strength to shine forth.

Go! By the grace of God, be like the tree and light. Pray that you will bear good fruit and be a shining light of the Gospel wherever God has placed you.

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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