A Meditation on the Word
Man that is humbling. Every word that passes over my lips. Every word that rolls off my tongue has a source and Jesus says the source is my heart. They all flow from an inner spring that is either being corrupted by my own desires or nourished by the sustained artesian pulse of the gospel. Jesus was blunt about this.
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, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. 35 “The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. 36 “But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. 37 “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:33-37 NASB95; cf. Mt. 15:18 and Lk. 6:45)
I was reading a friend’s doctoral thesis (Thanks Matt) and came across this wonderful observation from Dr. Joseph Stowell, “All talk is heart talk.” Five words and a perfect summary of Jesus teaching in Matthew 12:33-36.
All my words reveal my heart. All of them.
The ones I speak when I am rested, and fed, and happy, and satisfied, and fulfilled, and the ones I speak when I am tired, and hungry, and sad, and impatient, and confused. All of them reflect the inner workings of my heart.
Those words that voiced impatience with my wife when she was talking to me can’t be attributed to the fact that I am cranky when I am looking through my bifocals, or anything else that I use to try and absolve myself of bad behavior. My words flow from what is in my heart. And my heart needs to be filled, overflowing with Christ. But not filled like a cup is filled, filled like a sponge is filled–saturating every part of the whole not superficially carried in a container of flesh.
And that saturation will never occur without a daily, moment by moment meditation on the greatness of the gospel. Oh how we need that, how I need that, how your people need that.
So this week as you prepare your message, your Bible study, your teaching, as you read and study your Bible, my prayer for you and myself is that we would feast on the word of Christ, be nourished by that word of Christ that is the gospel itself, and that our passion for Him would penetrate and saturate every part of us and that we would know that in every tomorrow, the springs of that passion needs to be replenished in the great news of the the cross and our Christ who loves us and redeems us from the pit.
Matt’s book has been out now for a number of years. It is short and pungent and it is helping the church around the world. It has been translated into I think five languages at this point and is probably the best book you will ever read on control of the tongue. You can get Resisting Gossip: Winning the War of the Wagging Tongue at Amazon by clicking this link and ordering.