Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Devotion 1.21.16

If you were to be asked to name a tree that best describes you, what would you name?

I'm reminded of the meme (pictures with a title/subtitle that make you laugh) that circulated that featured a body like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger and next to it a picture of a body like my own with the caption, "What I think I look like and what I actually look like."

So, are you a redwood like the trees pictured?  Are you the mighty oak as we talked about a few devotions ago?  Are you like the cypress trees along the river banks of the Guadalupe, much like the trees along the riverbank in the scripture passage in Numbers?  Are you like the fruit-bearing fig tree?

The redwood captures our imagination unlike any other tree.  They are literally giants.  As you look at the picture, keep in mind that the landscaping timbers that line the walking path are about 10 feet long, so compare that to the base of the trees along the path.  Yet for all its might, a redwood is delicate. 

Look at the leaf of the redwood.  The leaf is responsible for drawing in nutrients for the tree, and the tree has a shallow root system compared to other trees.  As you walk through a redwood forest, it is not uncommon to see several laying on the floor of the forest, root systems almost non-existent.   

David examines the kind of tree he believes himself to be in Psalm 52.  "I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.  I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever." (v 8)

The olive tree is a versatile tree. Not as large as the oak nor the redwood, it bears a fruit that is multi-functional.  We can eat of it and we can draw oil from it.  That David calls himself a "green" olive tree contrasts with the fig tree in Christ's lesson in Matthew 21 that has leaves but bears no fruit.  David is "like a green olive tree," which suggests thriving, fruitful, and dedicated to God by being in the house of God, trusting in his steadfast love.

Our prayer should be that if we look at a tree as a symbol of faith, that we be "green trees" in the body of Christ.  Our prayer would be that we bear fruit and that our fruit be contributions to the body of Christ.

Hope Men's Ministry

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