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Birdwell Lane Church Of Christ
1616 E. 11th Pl
Big Spring, TX  79720
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This Week's Bulletin Article


     You've probably heard the saying, "You can fool all of the people some of the time. You can fool some of the people all of the time. But you can't fool all of the people all of the time." There are different reasons for different people as to why they would want to deceive or fool others. They may want others to think that they are better than they are (or more like the group). It may be pride or selfishness which leads people to think they should create a false image about themselves.

     In Matthew 12:33-37, Jesus addresses this type of charade that people play in order to make themselves look good to others. The passages reads - 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. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned (ESV).

     Jesus always had this way of cutting right to the heart of the matter. That is exactly what he is saying in this passage - it is all about a person's heart. He's not referring to the muscle which pumps blood through your body. He's talking about the inner person and what makes you, well, you.

     The treasure of which he speaks is everything you see as valuable. What do you value most? Are they mostly selfish things - money, power, influence, notoriety, etc.? Whatever we place value on will be the things that we love. Do you love God more than yourself? Do you love your neighbor (other people) more than yourself? Is it of more value to you to have pleasure in this life? Are you living this life like there is nothing after it's done?

     You can fool others. The bad thing is that after a while you can start to fool yourself, too. However, there is someone who can never be fooled because he can see our hearts. The good news is that we can change our hearts! It starts from within. Stop living just for yourself and start living for God. Stop doing things just for yourself and start doing things for others. Make the tree good!

     You can start by submitting your will to the will of God. Paul speaks of it as putting to death the physical desires within us (Colossians 3:1-5). Out of this death comes a new birth, or rebirth (John 3:3-8). What do you do with a dead person? You bury them. So, when we die to ourselves we are buried in water. This is the baptism of which Jesus spoke (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16). It is the same baptism of which Paul wrote (Romans 6:1-11).

     From that point on, our focus changes. The things we view as valuable changes. This is because we are no longer living for ourselves, we are living by faith in Jesus (Galatians 2:20). When we are obedient to the commands of Jesus, then God performs a heart transplant on us. Our tree is made good so that we can now live for him and produce good fruit.

Greg Surles
Birdwell Lane church of Christ

Preacher: Greg Surles

- - Ministry Purpose Statement - -
Teaching, Training and Transforming Lives Into
The Image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29)