Week 5 - Sincerity // Day 7
Matthew 7 15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 A good tree produces good fruit, and a bad tree produces bad fruit.18 A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 19 So every tree that does not produce good fruit is chopped down and thrown into the fire. 20 Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its fruit, so you can identify people by their actions. 21 “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
After you have read this searching passage, how naturally the prayer comes, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit in me.” A person can do an unselfish deed occasionally by force of will; but can a person really be unselfish, without being continually “transformed by the renewing of their minds”? Jesus says that good deeds or words which do not spring out of the nature and quality of the heart are not genuinely good. So Paul cries: “If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, yet I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.” When a person accepts this ideal of a life inwardly and genuinely right in its attitude and quality, he is at once thrown back on God. As well might a tree try to be sound without drawing on the water of the soil, as a person might expect to be inwardly good without appropriating the help of the Spirit of God.