Summary: Message discussing how our mouth reflects what’s in our heart.
The Overflow of the Heart
May 7, 2006
Let me tell you a story about something that happened a number of years ago while I worked at Pizza Hut in Brookings:
One night we were very busy at the restaurant, and our supply truck came late, right in the middle of the supper rush.
I was in charge of the kitchen, and so I had to make sure all the stuff got put away and still keep the kitchen running.
I stood there in the middle of all this stuff that had to be dated, refrigerated or frozen, and make sure the other stuff got rotated.
And as I was discussing what to do with my co-workers, including another shift supervisor like myself, I uttered a swear word under my breath.
Which one? None of your business – but the one you’re thinking of will work just fine.
Anyway, the crew just stood there in shocked silence – they couldn’t believe I had said this, because they had never heard me swear before.
I got ribbed about it pretty good later on, and a few days later, as a crew of us was driving to another town to work that Pizza Hut so they could have their Christmas party, my little snafu was the main topic of conversation. They gave me such a rough time!
But it was light-hearted fun – they were playing up the fact that it had never happened before.
Today, I want to talk about what comes out of our mouths, because what we say says a lot. It says a lot about our character and our love and allegiance to Christ, or lack thereof.
And in doing so I want us to look at Matthew 12:33-37.
We looked at these verses last week in connection with Jesus’ words about the unforgivable sin, which was saying that the working of the Holy Spirit is the working of the devil.
But I wanted to revisit these verses because it’s a secondary theme to what Jesus was saying.
The Pharisees wouldn’t have said this horrible thing about the Holy Spirit if their hearts were right. But because they had hearts that either could not recognize or refused to recognize the working of the Holy Spirit, they blasphemed against him.
Jesus says in our passage today that words reflect the heart, and I want to address that aspect today.
If you are using the Bibles in the seats, this is found on page 690 –
"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him. 36 But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken. 37 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
These are hugely important words about how we talk, and we need to take them seriously. So to help us get a grasp on these words, I want to look at three very important facts about your speech that need to be addressed out of this passage.
My intention is to give you some very specific information about how important our speech is and also how we can work to develop our speech to reflect a love for and allegiance to Christ.
So here we go – here’s the first fact that I want to address:
1. Your speech identifies you.
Look at verse 33 –
"Make a tree good and its fruit will be good, or make a tree bad and its fruit will be bad, for a tree is recognized by its fruit.”
This is a pretty simple concept to grasp. If you see an apple on a tree, what kind of tree is it? An apple tree, right? This is the audience participation part, by the way...
If you see a cherry on a tree, what kind of tree is it? A cherry tree!
And teenagers, this one is one you can answer: if you see money on a tree, then what kind of tree is it? A money tree! Otherwise known as “parents.”
However, I need to tell you that this tree only exists in one place: your imagination.
If you see a lemon on a tree, what kind of tree is it? A lemon tree!
You get the picture right? A tree is recognized and identified by its fruit.