This article is a supplemental to the message I (Cody) delivered to the church on November 11, 2018.
The message dealt with things we fill up our heart with or allow our hearts to be filled up with. Obviously, I am not talking about the heart as a biological organ. Rather, I am referring to the inner-self, or the inner-man as Paul the Apostle refers to in Ephesians 3:16, Romans 7:22 and 2 Corinthians 4:16.
I like the King James Version of Luke 6:43-45 because of the word “abundance.” It means “surplus.” Jesus speaks of it after describing how bad trees bring forth bad fruit and good trees bring forth good fruit.
For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.Luke 6:43-45 (KJV)
What’s in your heart eventually spills out of your mouth in the form of words—the language you speak. Think about that because body language is also a big part of our daily communication. We all know that it is often more than what is said but how we say it. This is why we need to heed what we see in the mirror that shows our inner selves and do something about it.
For if anyone hears the word but is not obedient to it, he is like a man who looks at himself in a mirror and studies himself carefully, and then goes off and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the one who looks at the perfect law of freedom and remains committed to it—thereby demonstrating that he is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of what that law requires—will be blessed in what he does. If anyone thinks that he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, but instead deceives himself, his religion is worthless.James 1:23-26 (ISV)
I don’t want my religion to be worthless. I want to be a tree bearing good fruit! I want the surplus that is in my heart to be seeds that plant faith and hope in others!
There are still things I contend with, but I am amazed at how far the Holy Spirit has brought me. Could I have been further along in this sanctification process? Certainly! Each day I have is an opportunity to make better choices that reflect who I am supposed to be as a representative of the Gospel of Christ. It is the same for you!
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
Old baggage from our former lives before faith in Christ and even some baggage we may have unwittingly picked up from immature Christians hinders the sanctification process. Sanctification is God setting us apart for his use as vessels that the Holy Spirit fills up with an abundant surplus of good seed-bearing fruit. It progresses as we learn to yield to the will of the Holy Spirit in us instead of acting out our own will in the flesh.
A farmer plants crops from seeds. The farmer knows that corn seeds yield corn and wheat seeds yield wheat. I like planting sunflowers in the spring. I have never had a rose grow from a sunflower seed. The fruit in you has seeds in it. Look back in Genesis 1:11-12 when God made the plants that had their own seeds in the fruit to further propagate the next generation of growth.
Then God said, “Let vegetation sprout all over the earth, including seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each kind containing its own seed!” And that is what happened: Vegetation sprouted all over the earth, including seed-bearing plants and fruit trees, each kind containing its own seed. And God saw that it was good.Genesis 1:11-12 (ISV)
The bags, baggage
Talk to the Lord about it in prayer. Talk (Galatians 6:1-10) to your pastor or spiritual mother or father who is strong in the Lord. Go through that baggage tucked away in the spaces of your heart. Open them up to examine the contents. If the baggage/fruit is corrupt, it is filled with corrupt seed that can only bear more corrupt fruit. Burn it on that spiritual altar of sacrifice where you present your body as a LIVING sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-2). Which, by the way, is the reasonable thing we should be doing since Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2) with us having received received the priceless gift of eternal life. He died for us and rose again. We should be LIVING for him and doing what he says (Luke 6:46) and walking as he walked (1 John 2:3-6).
Why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord,’ but don’t do what I tell you? I will show you what everyone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. They are like a person building a house, who dug a deep hole to lay the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the floodwaters pushed against that house but couldn’t shake it, because it had been founded on the rock. But the person who hears what I say but doesn’t act on it is like someone who built a house on the ground without any foundation. When the floodwaters pushed against it, that house quickly collapsed, and the resulting destruction of that house was extensive.Luke 6:46-49 (ISV)
Instead of looking for something new in your Christian walk, look back to your beginning in Christ. Before seeking a prophecy or word for your life or even a miracle you desperately desire, look at what the Word already says. Never be the one that Jesus would ask why you call him Lord, Lord and don’t do the things he says.