I grew up hearing a certain phrase and I always assumed that it was in the Bible... until recently... The phrase is, "You judge a tree by it's fruit." Like if someone had done something wrong.... I have not been able to find that in the Bible, and I have looked! The only thing close to that I have found is in Matthew 7:16 and also Matthew 12:33; each scripture reads, "...You shall know them by their fruit..."
So... you may ask, why do I make this point? Because to me this was very significant. There was a time when I had a problem with looking at other people and the things that they do and assuming that I knew them inside-out... Or I would wonder why people did certain things and think that it should be done differently. You know we are all where we are, and while we all are striving to be like Jesus, none of us are there.
Only God knows the heart of man, and God has already judged man. When Jesus died on the cross, man was judged; receiving Jesus brings forgiveness, rejecting him brings condemnation...
Here is what I believe. The heart of man has already been judged. What does a tree produce???? Fruit. Would you be shocked if I told you that I don't believe that the bible is referring to a man when it says "tree" in Matthew 12. Let me explain. What does a seed produce? Since we're talking about trees, we'll say a tree. Lol. I don't believe that you're a seed, or a tree, or a fruit! I believe that you are the soil. (I mean, why not... God created man from the earth...) Psalm 1 says that the man that walks with God and meditates on his Word day and Night shall be LIKE a tree planted beside a river... In Mark 4:14 the Bible refers to God's Word as seed. (Read previous verses to fully understand.) So your heart is the soil, and when God's Word is planted there it brings good fruit. Whatever is planted in your heat will produce fruit in your life. So if you want good things plant God's Word. If you don't want bad things in your life, quit planting bad things in your heart!
I have more to say about the seeds and trees and fruit and what you plant in your heart... But I want to leave you with a final thought concerning the heart of man and then I need to go! :) I want to look at two men from the Old Testament and use them as an example to show you why it is important not to judge others and think that you know so much. In 2 Chronicles 15:16-17 the Bible tells of a man named Asa. We see that Asa Tore down his mothers idols and removed her from office. Then we see that he did not remove the high places. (which you would think that he should have done, high places are were people went to worship other gods.) But after the Bible points out what I would consider a fault, or maybe something to JUDGE Asa by, we see that the heart of Asa was perfect all his days! Wow, what a testimony to have, that your heart was perfect! So... The way I believe that Asa's heart was perfect before God is I don't think that God told Asa to remove the high places. So, if God told someone that they specifically were supposed to do something or not to do something, would you know about it? Would it be any of your business? And how could you judge that person based on information that you don't have???
Now we will look at a man named Amaziah. In 2 Chronicles 24:6 We see that Amaziah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, but not with a perfect heart. Now how do you do that?!? Do what's right, but not with a perfect heart? Have you ever heard this before, I'll do it, but I don't want to. That would be the assumption I would make... And if that was someones attitude, it might be really hard to tell. Someone is doing everything their supposed to but deep down inside they would rather be doing something else.
So the conclusion I draw from these two instances is, don't assume you know what God has told someone else! Maybe someone is doing something that is dumb to you and makes no sense. But if God told them to do it then who are you to judge God and his reasons. Keep in mind that God speaks to us through his Word (The Bible)... 1 Corinthians 1:27 says that God has chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise...
May your hearts be at piece from now on because you can just focus on what your supposed to be doing and not everyone else! I know mine has been! God Bless!!!
3 Prayer Secrets from Gloria Copeland
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