For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45
This story comes from the early days of division in East and West Berlin.
One day some of the folks in communist-controlled East Berlin took a truckload of garbage and dumped it on the West Berlin side. The folks of West Berlin could have retaliated and become involved in a garbage war.
Instead, they took a truck of canned goods, bread, and milk, and neatly stacked everything on the East Berlin side. On top of this stack of good stuff, they placed the sign that read, "EACH GIVES WHAT HE HAS."
How true that sign was.
People who are filled with gladness give their joy to others. Others, who have spirits of anger, jealousy, and greed, share those negatives with those around them. Each of us gives what he has, including God.
This leads me to observe that while the world seems to give us a lot of garbage, God has given us only love, and through His Son, forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life.
Each gives what He has. Knowing the truth of those words let me ask you a question: "Today, tomorrow, what will you give to God and your neighbor?" I pray it's good stuff rather than garbage, but I know each gives what he has.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER:Dear God, thank You for giving what You have, especially the gift of salvation through Your Son. Help me to give what I have. May it be good fruit through which Your love is shown to others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was originally published May 10, 2008.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries