Saturday, July 25th
This is what the Lord says: “Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the Lord. They are like stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future. They will live in the barren wilderness, in an uninhabited salty land. But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence. They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit." Jeremiah 17:5-8
Our passage today speaks of our need to be ones who "never stop producing fruit." With this thought we circle back to the beginning of the week and our opening passage from Colossians and the Apostle Paul's prayer that our "lives will produce every kind of good fruit." We can also circle back to the first week of the series that focused on the James 3 passage on the "Tongue." James 3 ends with these words in verses 17 & 18, "But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace." While our look at James 3 the first week did not include these verses, they are truly fitting at this juncture.
The connection between having a well managed tongue and having a life that is genuinely fruitful is inescapable. Obedience is doing what God tells us to do and he has told us that we must use our tongues properly. Dependence is all about "trusting in the Lord and making him our hope and confidence so that we don't rely on human strength and turn our hearts away from him." We put it all together like this: Moment by moment we choose to engage in the fruitful behavior of using our tongues properly as we depend on the Lord by faith to accomplish this fruitful behavior in us and through us. Those whose lives are devoted to this end will not be like "stunted shrubs in the desert, with no hope for the future," but will be "like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water .... their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit."
Lord, I want to be one who is devoted to having a fruitful life with a well managed tongue. I recognize that fruitfulness comes from you and to that end I must love you with everything I have (The greatest commandment). I also recognize that fruitfulness is all about blessing others with nurturing attitudes, actions, and words and to this end I must love others with everything I have (The second greatest commandment). So, here I am before you, asking that you will do an amazing work in my heart right now. Grant it, Lord, that more fully than ever before, I launch out in the obedient pursuit of a life full of fruitful behavior and that I do so in full dependence upon you.
Posted on Sat, July 25, 2015
by Alan Porter