No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn bushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
My husband, a prosecutor, says that most lawyers would rather represent criminals than divorcees because criminals are generally bad people on their best behavior and divorcees are generally good people on their worst behavior. But wouldn’t two Christians settle their divorce out of court and split their possessions 50/50? Or follow Jesus’ advice: “If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.” (Matthew 5:40) It’s when we’re under stress that we can’t fake what our hearts are full of.
Jesus’ love changes our hearts. I know He has improved mine. When I was a young mother, I didn’t have all the Fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). I lacked peace, patience, faithfulness (to God), gentleness, and self-control; at least when under pressure. Thirty years later I have all the Fruits except self-control. Jesus is helping me, but it’s a process, taking years to change my heart. I pray that I and all my readers will experience transformed hearts through this study of Luke.
Father God, help me change my heart to bear good fruit for you. Amen.