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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Lemon Guts

But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart…
Matthew 15:18

16 Health Benefits Of Drinking Warm Lemon Water

“What comes out of a lemon when you squeeze it?” the preacher asked. Hands shot up all over elementary chapel. I was an eight year old second grader, and I knew already that it was a trick question. One bright girl said “lemonade”. A big-shot fifth grade boy said “lemon guts”, and a brilliant student on the front row said “lemon juice”. But I could tell none of those answers were what the preacher was looking for. “What comes out of a lemon when you squeeze it,” he said, “is whatever is in it”.

I don’t remember another thing that preacher said, but I have meditated many times on the importance of what goes into my heart….what I see, what I hear, what I think about…all these pour into me….and when I am “squeezed”, these things that I’ve put into my heart are what come out!

When a co-worker maligns me, do I react or respond? When illness cripples me, does bitterness or trust characterize me? When my children are disobedient, does anger flare, or is my patience a grace to them? When circumstances crush me, do I rail against the unfairness of it all, or do I seek His face?

Godly responses must be grown in us. They are a reflection of what it is in our hearts. Everything we read, what we listen to, what we set our eyes on, what we think about…these are deposits that are withdrawn when we experience pressure in our lives. We can know what our hearts look like by what our mouths say when we are squeezed! Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23, HCSB).

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer (Psalm 19:14).

Jill Hardin

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