Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Holiness of Heart

…The good man brings good things
out of the good stored up in his heart…
                                    Luke 6:45

     Beginning a sentence with I remember when often reveals a heart longing for a return to life before the supersonic progression of change called progress. Having said that…

     I remember when…a good man could purchase a car with a handshake and a signature. By the wildest stretch of the imagination, our family did not rank among the upper middle class even though my dad worked two jobs to provide our needs. I cannot remember a time when we owned a new car. When our family needed a vehicle, daddy went to the same used car lot from which he purchased the previous car.

     Time after time he test drove, shook hands, signed one paper and drove off the Quality Used Car lot with our new, gently used, vehicle. There were no credit checks, questionnaires or blood draws—a handshake and a signature got the job done. Why? My daddy was a good man. He kept his promise of payment on the first vehicle and there was no doubt that he would keep his promise on the next, and the next and the next—on time and in full. He brought good things to our family because people could trust his word.

     Luke tells us that a good man (or woman-mine) brings good things because good is stored up in his heart. My speech and actions betray the contents of my heart. “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34) Have you ever made a statement only to later ask yourself, “Where did that come from”? I have! The thing that lay unspoken in the recesses of my heart finally bubbled to the surface and out my mouth. Yikes!

     Am I saying that people will know what is in my heart by what I say? No, I am not. Jesus said that to the religious leaders who were accusing Him of being under satan’s power. But God’s truth is eternal truth and remains applicable to our lives today. Am I saying that people will know what is in my heart by what I say? No, King Solomon said that in Proverbs 4:23 when he warned, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”

     Therefore, if you are in pursuit of holiness, remember the words of King Solomon in Proverbs 21:23 “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” I guard my mouth and tongue by first guarding my heart.

     Have you arrived? I sure haven’t! But in my pursuit of holiness, I have come to realize that it is a heart challenge. If I want my life and my mouth to bring forth good, I must store good in my heart—so much that it bubbles right out my mouth! Now there is a challenge that will last a lifetime!

©JP 2013   

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