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Words Reflect Our Heart

Today's Devotional

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart. Luke 6:45 nlt

How do you eliminate foul language? A high school chose to institute a “no foul language” promise. The students took an oath, saying: “I do solemnly promise not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of [our school].” This was a noble effort, but, according to Jesus, no external rule or pledge can ever cover the odor of foul speech.

Removing the stench of the words that come from our mouths begins with renewing our hearts. Just as people recognize the kind of tree by the fruit it bears (Luke 6:43-44), Jesus said that our speech is a convincing indicator of whether our hearts are in tune with Him and His ways or not. Fruit stands for a person’s speech, “for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of” (v. 45). Christ was pointing out that if we really want to change what’s coming out of our mouths, we first have to focus on changing our hearts as He helps us.

External promises are useless to curb the foul language that comes forth from an untransformed heart. We can only eliminate foul speech by first believing in Jesus (1 Corinthians 12:3) and then inviting the Holy Spirit to fill us (Ephesians 5:18). He works within us to inspire and help us to continually offer thanks to God (v. 20) and to speak encouraging and edifying words to others (4:15, 29; Colossians 4:6).

What do your words and speech say about your heart? How are you inviting the Holy Spirit to transform your speech these days?

Dear Jesus, please help me speak words that honor You and edify others.

For further study, read Words Matter: Speaking with Wisdom in an Age of Outrage.


Jesus’ words in Luke 6:17-49 mirror the discourse He gave in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Yet there are differences in the two settings. Matthew says “Jesus . . . went up on a mountainside and sat down” (5:1). Luke tells us that after spending the night on a mountainside praying with His disciples (6:12), “He went down with them and stood on a level place” (v. 17). Today’s Scripture reading is from this “sermon on the level place.” It shouldn’t surprise us that Jesus would share His transformational teaching at different locales. Most of His audience would be new and hadn’t yet heard His message. This section of Luke (6:43-45) loosely parallels Jesus’ words in Matthew 7:15-20, where He warns that we’ll know false prophets by their fruit. In Luke, however, Jesus focuses not on false teachers but on us. Our words reveal the kind of fruit we’re bearing.

By |2024-05-30T02:33:17-04:00May 30th, 2024|
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