“I really hope to make a mess of my life!” No healthy person every thinks this way. We all hope for the best and we fear the worst. Healthy people approach each day and each decision trying to make the best of their circumstances. Think back to some really bad decision you made in the past. Did you hope it would blow up in your face? Rarely do we purposely chose what we know is bad. We only know our bad decisions by the benefit of hindsight. Even the really stupid decisions we’ve made, we’ve chosen them thinking we would be okay or no harm would come. Our problem is perspective. Either we don’t see ourselves or our circumstances correctly. With the best of intentions, we misjudge. A “mistake” is simply a “miss” on our “take” of any given situation.
If we assume we all have the best of intentions with every decision, why is our world such a mess? I’m sure there are some very evil, out to cause unspeakable damage, people out there. But a few very loose screws won’t account for all the chaos we witness every day, even in our own families. Is there a deeper issue at hand? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, our natural ability to get a good “take” on a situation, to see our circumstances, ourselves, and the world around us accurately is somehow askew or down right upside down?
Jesus offers a different way. As we continue to read through Jesus’ sermon in Luke 6:20-49, Jesus shows us a way of seeing and being that at first glance seems counterintuitive…or maybe upside down. Jesus says, “blessed are the poor” and “what sorrow awaits the rich.” Jesus tells us to “love our enemies” and “bless those that curse us.” Who does that?!? Jesus views the world, our circumstances, and himself through an entirely different lens or process. Could it be that he is right? Our Message Series, Undeveloped Negatives, asks if, like old fashioned photo negatives, we need Jesus to change our hearts and develop our eyesight in order to see the world in full-color reality?
You can’t grow grapes on an apple tree. In Luke 6:43-45, Jesus reminds us that, in a similar way, truly good action can’t grow from an evil heart. We tend to assume God evaluates us based on our “good” or “bad” actions. That’s why a lot of people wonder how God could ever condemn non-Jesus following people who do incredibly good things for the human race. Jesus confronts that line of “negative” thinking. It is a miss “take.” No matter our belief system or world view, we can all do “good” things. But for the action to be considered God-honoring and therefore truly good, that action must grow from a good, God-honoring heart. You can’t grow good fruit from a heart that doesn’t honor God by loving and following Jesus.
In this week’s Sunday Rewind, Undeveloped Negatives Part 4: Changing Our “Good” Intentions, we take a long look at our natural “take” on the whole good vs. bad debate. Could we be miss “taking” what really matters? What is good fruit and is it growing from my heart?
Click below to listen to this past Sunday’s Message
For Further Discussion:
Many of us shop or secure services online. How do posted reviews (or word of mouth) influence your decisions? Why is someone else’s experience helpful to your decision-making?
Read Luke 6:43-45. Where does Jesus locate the source of good or bad “fruit”? Why do you think this was an important teaching of Jesus’?
Can you fake being a Jesus-follower today? What differs between a real follower from someone pretending to follow Jesus? How can I know if I am really following Jesus?
Fruit is good profit for a gardner and also the source of how a tree reproduces. How do Jesus-followers reproduce & profit God? How does our heart influence our ability to tell others about Jesus?
What kind of fruit are you producing? Who are you sharing your faith with today? What is your NEXT STEP with Jesus and how can Christ Church help you?