He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3
I love spring.
And I have to admit, I’m a little more eager for it this year. We’ve had a very long, very cold, very gray winter. I’m ready to feel the warmth of the sun. I think creation would agree.
Yet even now hope emerges with the promise of new life. Green blades have begun to penetrate the brown blanket of lawn. Beautiful red buds have emerged on my maple trees. What has lain dormant and barren stands ready to bloom in full force.
My heart bursts with anticipation. Change is coming.
I sense the same promise looming on the horizon for the church, dear one. What has appeared dormant and lifeless is about to spring to life, bursting with beauty.
Can you sense it? The Spirit of God calls us to awaken from our slumber and rise to release the new life Jesus loosed on the cross.
Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Isaiah 60:1-3
I’m ready to see it. Aren’t you? I long to witness the glory of the Lord evident upon His people. Light will penetrate the darkness, and many will be drawn to the brightness of our rising.
But here’s the catch, beloved. You and I can’t penetrate darkness while our hearts remain dark. We too closely resemble the darkness to disperse it.
So what if we determined not to blend in with the fallen world any longer? What if we gave Jesus unrestricted access and invited Him to blossom our hearts with the fruit of His Spirit?
Fruit-bearing marks the path to glory, dear one.
“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:8
Let’s see how you and I can become beautiful, fruit-bearing branches that reveal the glory of God.
We plant the seed.
God cannot produce fruit without seed, dear one. And Jesus clearly defined the seed for us when He explained the parable of the sower to His disciples in Luke 8:11.
“The seed is the word of God.”
There’s no getting around it, my friend. If you and I want to experience the promises of God and become living testimonies to the power of resurrection life, we must spend time reading the Word. That’s the only way to plant the seed.
1 Peter 1:23 tells us that we have been born again, “not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God.”
God’s Word is the imperishable seed. It can’t die, but it can be snatched away, and weeds can choke it out. That’s why it’s imperative to regularly return to the Word. We have to keep replanting the seed the enemy has snatched up until it takes root.
We water the seed.
Seeds can’t grow without water. Jesus said in John 7:38-39, “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive.
As we actively believe the implanted Word, living water flows. The Spirit waters the seed of the Word to bring growth. That’s why Jesus declared in John 4:23 that true worshipers would worship in Spirit and Truth. Only a true worshiper will yield godly fruit. The Word will not do its work without the presence of the Spirit.
We must seek the Lord’s presence though prayer and invite the Spirit to bring the Word to life in us.
Understanding provides the light to make it grow.
Psalm 119:130 declares,
The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.
This is why the work of the Spirit is so necessary, dear one. He gives us understanding of the Word, teaching us all things (John 14:26). Without Him, the words on the pages of scripture are just words. But through Him, the seed takes root and begins to grow the fruit of God’s heart in us.
Seed. Water. Light. Only these essential elements can initiate and sustain growth. Let’s trust Jesus to change our character and grow us up in Him, that we can be filled to the measure with who He is (Ephesians 3:19). We have nothing to fear, only lavish promises to fulfill.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-9