The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Did you know that your heart is a treasure chest? It is. However, the human heart does not store diamonds, rubies or pearls. The human heart stores one of two things, good treasure or evil treasure. What are good treasure and evil treasures?
A man or woman who has been given a clean and forgiven heart, has growing out of that heart godly and righteous things. What things? The fruit of the Spirit is recorded for us in Galatians, where we read; “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23).
These are the qualities which God’s Spirit births in those who follow Christ. How are these qualities seen? Through words and deeds. The parable that we are discussing deals specifically with words. A person’s mouth is like the door to the treasure chest. When a Christian with a good heart opens his mouth and starts speaking, the door to his heart-treasure chest opens and out come words of love, words of joy, words of peace, words of longsuffering, words of kindness, words of goodness, words of faithfulness, words of gentleness and words of self-control. These words are used by the Lord to minister help, hope and healing to others. Such words are a treasure, more valuable and more useful than pearls, silver or gold. Such words are more precious than material goods because material goods merely decorate the outsides of man, his body and his environment. However, spiritual words go down inside of a man and can bring hope to his heart and soul. Also spiritual words in some way reflect
God’s nature and enlighten men and women to truth.
If the spiritual things such as the words and fruit of God’s Spirit constitute good treasure then what are the evil things that constitute the evil treasure that Jesus speaks of? We find the answer in another passage of Matthew where Jesus says; “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: …” (Matthew 15:18-20). Here Jesus is listing things such as murder, adultery and blasphemy, etc. as things which begin in the heart or imagination of a man or woman. These things don’t just stay in a person’s heart, they are expressed in words.
Scripture is filled with references to people sinning with their mouths. God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah:
“Everyone deceives his neighbor
And does not speak the truth,
They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
They weary themselves committing iniquity.
Here the sin of lying and deceiving is rebuked. We are told of the wicked; “His mouth is full of curses and deceit and oppression;
Under his tongue is mischief and wickedness. ” (Psalm 10:7NASB). The tongues of men and women sometimes express hatred. David laments that of the wicked; “They have also surrounded me with words of hatred, And fought against me without cause.” (Psalm 109:3NASB).
With all of these scriptures, the verbal sin which is identified, whether it be lying, cursing, oppression, deceit, hatred is all a part of the evil treasure of men’s hearts. This kind of treasure is treasure that we can do without. The average man has stored up in his heart and spoken forth with his mouth much of this kind of treasure.
Jesus’ words again were “ … for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34). Usually there is an abundance of sin in a man and woman’s heart to verbalize.
Does a Christian ever sin with his or her mouth? Yes, they do and perhaps that is why Paul says to the Colossian Church; “But now ye also, put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. ” (Colossians 3:8). Even though the Christian may sin with his mouth, he can come to God for forgiveness and find grace.
Sometimes it is not until a man has verbalized the thoughts of his heart that he sees just how evil and bitter his heart really is. Friend, how is it with you. Your words are usually a good gauge of where your heart is at. What kind of treasure do you possess? If you have evil treasure then empty it out by coming to God and asking Him to forgive you, cleanse and re-make your heart. Bring your guilty soul to the cross of Christ and plead to Christ for pardon and cleansing. Part with the sinking wreck of your own self-righteousness and enter Jesus’ lifeboat. Commit your life to follow Jesus. It is time to exercise faith. When a bride gets married, she makes a life-long commitment to a man and then lives forever afterward as a married woman. This is how it is to be for us. This is faith, to commit yourself to God and to trust your life to Him for all eternity. Once you have committed your life and heart to the Lord, you will be a speckled bird who’s life does not match the lives of most other people around you. That is okay, you will now have good treasure within you. But count the cost and choose rightly. Do not let it be that on the Day of Judgment your heart and record is laden with iniquity. Come to Jesus Christ for forgiveness. Jesus is willing and able to change your heart. Confide all of your heart to Him. Jesus will then put good treasure in you.
Until that good treasure has been placed in you, what do you have? May God waken lost men and women to their dead, miserable, guilty condition. Dear reader, if you do not know the Lord and the Lord’s salvation yet, then may the Lord awaken you to your need of Him as well. His bowels of compassion are moved and He reaches out to you. Cry out to Him in earnest. Let God change you from the inside out. Let God put good treasure in you. Let spiritual life in you commence.
The Scriptures teach that Jesus is the sinless Son of God and that He died for our sins. The day that He did this, the penalty for your sins and mine was paid for by Him. Then in three days He rose from the dead and conquered death. The truth of this will set you free if you believe and embrace it with your heart, and then confess with your mouth the faith of your heart.
Friend, it is not enough to affirm the truth of Scripture in your mind. If that scripture has never come alive in you, then you need to wake up. This is faith. Make a full surrender to the Lord and pray that He would birth in you a living faith, robust, real and full of zeal. Pray that He would birth real treasure in you. Evil treasure is really no treasure at all. It is just rottenness of soul. Make the choice today to give over control of your life to Jesus.
Pray to Jesus in your own words, or if you need help, I offer this prayer.
Lord Jesus, You said “ …every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment.” (NASB) Lord, I don’t want to be judged for my words. I want to be forgiven for my words and for my deeds, which have been sinful. Jesus, You died for me and then rose from the dead. I choose to believe in You and follow You for the rest of my days. Take away all of my evil treasure and put good treasure in me. I give You my life. I choose to repent of my sin and self-rule and to, by Your strength, live for You. Forgive my sins and be my Lord. Amen.
Booth, Catherine. Papers on Godliness. The Salvation Army Supplies & Purchasing Department. Atlanta, Georgia.
MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Matthew 8-15. Chicago: Moody Press, 1987.
“Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)
The KING JAMES BIBLE was also used.