ARE YOU PLANTED PART 2

ARE YOU PLANTED PART 2

Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. - Matthew 3:10

John the Baptist

One of the greatest ways that the Bible teaches us, the students who study the Bible, the way to absolute truth and wisdom is by comparing and contrasting.

We may have at some point in our lives heard the idiom of “Comparing apples to apples or Apples to oranges”, which means comparing things that are alike to each other or indifferent.

So it is with the Bible. Imagine if God the Holy Spirit inspired man to write everything in the viewpoint of nothing to compare the Word to. Granted, the purpose of the Word of God IS to lead and guide into ALL absolute truth, for God cannot lie. Yet, since the fall into sin was so great, and man so easily deceived, many times God teaches by comparing and contrasting to lead us to the truth. Vivid imagery like light and darkness, good and evil, hope and despair, love and hate.

Yesterday we started out with such a description in Psalm 1, and it starts out on a positive note, Blessed!

However, we are not automatically blessed, for the scriptures say “Blessed is the man who walks NOT in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers”. Man is doing an action verb, walk(ing) and either in the ways of righteousness or in the ways of evil, and if walking in the way of righteousness, He is spending much time with God. If we too use our time wisely in study, prayer, meditation on the Word that we read, we will find we have less time for sin and are more at peace with God.

This psalm also has one of the most clear, most vivid descriptions of what takes place to evil wicked people, and this warning should get the attention of many, yet sadly does not.

Yesterday we read that the Blessed man, grows strong, bears fruit for the Kingdom of God, he does not wither, and continues to prosper in all that he does. BUT… The wicked are not so, but are like the chaff the wind drives away. Have you ever studied what chaff is? Chaff is the loose, outer covering on wheat and other grains that must be separated in the threshing and winnowing process of harvesting grain. Chaff is pretty much worthless and was either used in adding it to the feed of the livestock, for they were able to process it whereas humans cannot, or it was used for burning fuel, which would not last long for it was so lightweight and a quick burn time. God created ALL things with a purpose and of value, and like the chaff is to protect the grain within from damage and retain its purpose and value, so it is with the Word of God, the Holy Spirit indwelling the believer, in that they (believers) will not be burned with the judgment of fire.

When we study intently the Word of God, we find out how chaff was cleared from the threshing floor. Sometimes the grain lightly tossed in baskets into the air to blow the chaff away, but many times it has beaten and threshed or tossed about by the winnowing fork, or as we know it today as a pitchfork.

If we look again at our opening quoted scripture, shortly after John the Baptist says this in Matthew 3:12 “His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

This speaks of the final judgment to come which is also referred to at the end of psalm 1:5-6 ” Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; 6 for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.”

This psalm and these words are both words of comfort and of concern. They comfort those that are truly saved, and should be of great concern of the judgment to come! They should also be of concerned to those who are saved in that we have work to do to a dying world! We were not saved just for us to have a good life, to lay back in comfort until we die. Oh dear child of God, may it not be so that are hearts or so calloused, so cold, to those that will one day be threshed and beaten into damnation and judgment. We have good works, Gospel works, that we are called and commissioned to! I dare say if we are not about the Father’s business as Christ was, we too might want to not only read this psalm, but pray through it that God would gives us eyes to see, and spiritual hearts to compare and contrast our own lives to that of His Word. We are to be daily self-examining ourselves, judging ourselves to His Word, not others.

Dear reader, I hope you see not only the seriousness in these few words in psalm 1, but will continue to make the Word of God a daily part of your life. By doing so, He will bless you when you seek Him with all your heart, all your soul, all you might, and all your strength. He will give you a peace that surpasses all understanding, especially in these times of uncertainty, and one day will come for His bride.

So again, are you firmly planted, or are you easily blown away like worthless chaff? Only you and God can determine that.

#ToGodBeTheGlory

ARE YOU PLANTED PART 1

ARE YOU PLANTED PART 1

Spiritual growth depends on two things: first a willingness to live according to the Word of God; second, a willingness to take whatever consequences emerge as a result.

Sinclair B. Ferguson

This is beautiful imagery using an analogy of what a true Christian is like. First we have that the Christian is like a tree planted by streams of water. Trees when properly planted serve purpose, and are not haphazardly planted. Trees that are also planted with purpose means that there was a planter. God, the creator of all things, created us, planted us in our mothers womb, bore us, daily sustains us by giving us life. We were the greatest of all His creation on earth that we would reflect the glory of His image to the world, which brings us to the next point in the analogy.

It signifies there was a specific place to be planted, in this case by streams of water. There are many verses in the Old and New Testaments on living waters, but the main one that comes to mind is when Jesus is speaking to the woman at the well in John 4:10-11. Even more importantly Jesus Himself says later in John 7:37-38

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as  the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’”

Now we know how important physical water is to survival of all creatures and humanity, more importantly is the spiritual waters, and in the case of John 7, Jesus is referring to the Holy Spirit who had not yet, but who is yet to come after Jesus ascends into heaven.

Being planted near a stream also allows the tree to drink in a healthy manner without being drowned. If too much water is consumed too fast, it can have an adverse affect on the tree. Streams also representing a flow, a constant source of water, one that does not dry up. So it is with the Christian that is firmly planted daily in God’s Word, spending time and communion with their creator, being filled with the living water to withstand the challenges of their day.

As I stated earlier, these specifically planted trees have purpose, and in this case, they are supposed to bear fruit in yield its fruit in season. Newly planted trees do not bear fruit, but need to be properly tended to so that one day they will. More mature trees should be bearing much fruit as to also provide more good seed to plant other trees as well.

It is quite interesting that the Holy Spirit hear led the writer of this psalm to use the word yield, which is used in verb form eluding to the fruit having a purpose. When God invests in us, the planted tree, when He cares for, nurtures it, tends to it, He expects the trees to yield fruit. And not just any fruit, but that of the Gospel to the world.

Charles Spurgeon, the famous preacher and theologian quotes fellow Englishman and theologian, Adam Clarke “Fruit is expected, fruit is borne, and it comes also in the time in which it should come. A godly education, under the influences of the divine Spirit, which can never be withheld where they are earnestly sought, is sure to produce the fruits of righteousness; and he who reads, prays, and meditates, will ever see the work which God has given him to do; the power by which he is to perform it; and the times, places, and opportunities for doing those things by which God can obtain most glory, his own soul most good, and his neighbour most edification.”

We also see that the leaves of the tree do not wither. Just as the roots of the tree bring water into the base of the tree to give it growth and make it strong and firmly planted in the ground, the leaves also have a purpose. Just as in a natural tree is to gather in the sunlight and oxygen to help grow the branches and help in the bearing process for growing the fruit, the spiritual trees leaves gather breath from the Holy Spirit, and Gospel light from God the Father and Christ the Son. Without out these things, the tree will wither, dry up, and die.

However, a tree planted by God cannot wither and die, rather it will prosper. It is a prosperity that is not rich by means of this world, but is rich from the heavens above. For the things of God in the Christians life are far greater than anything this world has to offer. As the psalm starts out, so it will one day end, Blessed is the man!

But the question is, have you been planted by God?

#ToGodBeTheGlory