What God does through us, he also does in us.
Scripture describes this dynamic in organic metaphors:
- Good soil produces good fruit (Luke 8:11ff)
- Good tree produces good fruit (Matthew 7.15ff)
- Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12.33ff)
- Branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the vine (John 15)
Jesus is relentless about this reality: if we want to produce obedience, holiness, love, and goodness in our lives we must focus not just on the external and exteriors. Rather, more fundamentally, we must focus on the internals and interiors.
A good soil cannot help but produce a crop. A good tree naturally produces good fruit. Our mouths ordinarily and necessarily reveal our hearts. The branch can do nothing on its own (‘apart from me you can do nothing), but bears fruit in accordance to its relationship to the vine.
What keeps you from tending to your heart? Which temptation do you find more appealing:
- To keep yourself busy, distracted, and active and so ignore your heart? Or,
- To get lost in your thoughts, feelings, and desires and so indulge your heart?
Our world (and religions) have two dominant messages about our heart: kill it (#1 above) or fulfill it (#2 above).
Can you hear the invitation today from our Holy Spirit to simply offer your heart? To face it and submit your desire to the one who is closer to us than we are to ourselves?
This is how we begin (again) to allow God to do a work in us. Today is the perfect time to (re)start this process.
May Christ be King of your heart, may we learn to surrender together to this good work, and may our lives be spent for the sake of others in God’s mission.
Grace and Peace,