“A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad…A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart.” (Matthew 12:33,35, NLT).
Goodness is a quality that is only attributable to God.
And God’s redemptive purpose is not to create good people, but to establish His goodness in the human heart.
So God’s plan for you is not just to clean you up, but to shape and form the character of your being for eternity.
God wants to do an inside job on you!
He knows that it is what is on the inside—your character, your heart, your soul—that determines what you will do with what is on the outside—your words and behavior.
According to Jesus, it is relatively simple to determine what is on the inside of a person.
You examine their fruit!
When you purchase fruit at the store, you pick it up and look it over before you place it in your shopping cart. It’s the same way with people.
You hear what they say and see how they behave: “Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions” (vs. 7:20).
What you say and do are indicative of what’s in your heart.
What do people hear and see coming from your heart? Do you pass the fruit exam? Are you a tree that bears good fruit?
Let the words you speak and the way you live demonstrate that Jesus lives in your heart!
Adapted from The Kingdom Order: Living for the Future in the Present, by Steven C. Mills