Thursday, January 13, 2011

What’s in Your Storehouse?


The tagline of the current Capital One(TM) campaign asks, “What’s in your wallet?” Let me tweak that a little bit and ask, “What’s in your storehouse?” Jesus said, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:35).

The Greek word for “treasure” is thesaurus. The Septuagint, which is a very early Greek translation of the Old Testament, uses thesaurus to translate the Hebrew word for “storehouse.” My translation of Matthew 12:35 is, “The good man out of the good storehouse of the heart brings out good things, and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings out evil things.”

What is a storehouse? It is a place where things are deposited, collected, laid up, stored away for future use. Each one of us has a storehouse in our heart and we are continually making deposits into it. These deposits are the words, thoughts, deeds and desires we focus on and give place to in our lives.

For example, in Luke 2, when the shepherds came and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby Jesus lying in a manger, they told of the angelic visitation and all the things that were told them about Jesus. Then we read, “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart” (Luke 2:19). That is, she gathered them all up and gave place to them in her heart, where she could consider them, meditate on them, and let them shape her thoughts, her decisions, her emotions, words, her deeds — her life! She made a deposit of good things into her storehouse, and they were there for her to draw upon every moment of her life.

Another example is found in Acts 5, where Ananias and Sapphira pretended to bring all the proceeds of a piece of land they sold to lay at the apostles’ feet. Peter saw through their deceit and said, “Why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit? … Why have you conceived this thing in your heart?” (Acts 5:3-4). The Greek word for “conceived” means to set, place or put forth. Ananias and Sapphira made a place for satanic deception and treasured it in their storehouse. It filled their hearts with evil, and when opportunity arose, evil is what they brought out.

We must be very careful what we allow in our storehouses and deposit in our hearts, because that is what will come out in our lives. “Keep your heart with all diligence,” Proverbs says, “for out of it spring the issues of life” (4:23). We are always making deposits and we are always drawing on our storehouse account. If we collect up and ponder good things — the promises of God, the fruit of the Spirit, the things Jesus taught — that is what will come forth from us. Paul said, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

Now, you can tell what someone has been storing up in their heart by paying attention to what they say. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks,” Jesus said (Matthew 12:34). What is in their heart in abundance, whether good or bad, is what they have been depositing in it over time. When they open up their mouths to speak, what they have stored up is what comes out; this is especially true when they are under pressure.

This is very important because, as Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” That is why we will have to give account before God for the things we say. Jesus said, “But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).

Words that are in line with the love of the Father, the faith of King Jesus the Messiah, the fruit of the Spirit and the promises of God, are words that will bring forth good things. Every word that is out of alignment with the Word of God will bring forth evil things. It all begins with the deposits you make in your heart.

What’s in your storehouse?