Title: True Belief Requires Being What You Believe
Text: Luke 6:43-49
(Jesus said to His followers) You don’t get wormy apples off a healthy tree, nor good apples off a diseased tree. The health of the apple tells the health of the tree. You must begin with your own life-giving lives.
“It’s who you are, not what you say and do, that counts. Your true being brims over into true words and deeds.
“Why are you so polite with me, always saying ‘Yes, sir,’ and ‘That’s right, sir,’ but never doing a thing I tell you? These words I speak to you are not mere additions to your life, homeowner improvements to your standard of living. They are foundation words, words to build a life on.
“If you work the words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who dug deep and laid the foundation of his house on bedrock. When the river burst its banks and crashed against the house, nothing could shake it; it was built to last. But if you just use my words in Bible studies and don’t work them into your life, you are like a dumb carpenter who built a house but skipped the foundation. When the swollen river came crashing in, it collapsed like a house of cards. It was a total loss.”
Truth: The fruit (what you produce by your words, attitude and actions) your life reveals everyday speaks about the truth of your heart’s health and foundation. In other words, your behavior before others will speak louder than what you say about what you believe in your heart.
Thoughts: Jesus uses three great statements in this passage to reveal that belief or our faith is not not just something we say we have. Genuine belief is something that must become anchored deeply within our heart so that everything we say, do and even our attitude honors what we believe.
What happens in an farmer’s orchard if he finds an apple tree among all the other apple trees is producing nothing but bad, insect infested apples? If you were the farmer, what would you do? If that apple tree was a risk of spreading its disease to the other trees what would you do? Jesus says plainly a bad tree cannot produce good fruit, and nor should a good tree be able to bear bad fruit.
How many of you can relate to what Jesus said to His followers who said they loved what He said and wanted to follow Him? How many have said yes sir or no sir to your father but did not mean it? Can you really please your father or mother simply by saying the right things without changing your words, actions and attitude? How much value is there in the words “I am sorry”, if you really do not mean it?
Finally, Jesus reminds us to build a life of faith we must build our life on a solid foundation. To do so takes extra effort and time. We must shovel all the dirt in our life away and find the solid rock of our faith which is found in God’s Son, Jesus Christ. His words and Spirit of truth must become the foundation or rock that we build our life. If you try to take a shortcut and start building before you have shoveled away and removed all the dirt in your life when the storms of life come your life will be like the house that gets washed away because it did not have a strong anchor hold on its foundation, as Jesus suggested we do.
Genuine belief is not something we say we have, belief is an action word that requires daily shoveling away the disease and dirt in our life – all the bad things in our life – and building upon the things that Jesus would smile about. Your words, actions and attitude toward others must make the good fruit of your life. Only then can you claim to be a good tree, or that you are seeking daily to honor Jesus with a life that pleases God the Father.
A genuine child of God will always be good and never has to tell others about their beliefs with words, their actions and attitude will testify much louder and more convincingly than anything we can say. Jesus said it this way, in time our words and actions will reveal the truth about the condition of our heart. Do you have to convince others that you are good, or do they already say that about you?