Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan
is Isaiah 40-42, Matthew 12:22-50
33 “A tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good. If a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad.
I appreciated this devotional
Fall is the ideal time to visit apple orchards, stock up on apple donuts, and drink mugs and mugs of hot apple cider. But have you ever gone to pick an apple, only to find it mushy, bland, or shriveled up? If you look at the tree it came from, you may notice holes in the trunk, cracks in the bark, or dead branches, so intuitively, you move onto the next apple tree with healthy leaves and branches displaying ripe, full-color apples.
This is because a tree is identified by its fruit. If a tree is good, its fruit will be good, and if a tree is bad, its fruit will be bad. In the same way, words spoken can accurately portray the condition of someone’s heart. When we are planted in God’s Word and growing in our faith, we will begin to see good fruit—kind words, quick forgiveness, and gracious speech. But if we’re planted in sin and our faith grows weak, our fruit will inevitably spoil and give off a bitter after-taste to anyone who’s around and willing to take a bite.
Christian or non-Christian, sin is going to wage war inside our hearts, and if anger, bitterness, and resentment are spewing out of our mouths, that’s a good sign that something is out of alignment; there’s some soul work to be done. If we’re ever going to get better with our words, we need God to change our hearts.
The good news for every believer is that the Holy Spirit wants to help you. He wants to actively work on your heart, He wants to give you the power to overcome sin, and He wants to grow good fruit in your life. It’s up to you—will you allow Him to help you and grow you into the person you want to be?
1. Only with your speech in mind, are you a tree bearing good fruit or bad fruit?
2. May this be our prayer today: “Holy Spirit, I want to be a good tree bearing good fruit. Please change me from the inside-out, and give me the power to overcome my sin. Restore the goodness in my heart, and give me new life through the name of Jesus.”
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage
: Isaiah 43-45, Matthew 13:1-23