Thursday, June 11th
God Promises to Help Us Flourish
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Psalm 92:12-14
All promises are fulfilled in Christ.
Please read Luke 8:4-15.
Our purpose as believers is to flourish. What does that mean? In Psalm 92, David uses the example of two trees—palm trees and the cedar trees of Lebanon. Palm trees can bend during hurricanes rather than being uprooted. Cedar trees can grow up to 150 feet tall, have deep roots, stay green all year, can live to be 300 years old and have a spicy scent that repels insects. To flourish means to be equipped to thrive just as these trees do.
Jesus tells us how to flourish as a believer: “I am the vine; you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Bearing fruit means living a life that expresses Christ so powerfully that it draws others to Him. But too many Christians try to bear fruit without being fully connected to the vine. Yes, they believe in Jesus as their Savior, but He is not a priority in their lives. He is not the focus of their continual worship. There are parts of their lives that they are holding back from Him. Imagine a healthy grape vine. The vine is thick, green and sturdy. Its branches have huge leaves and bunches of grapes. Suppose that one of these branches is partially broken off. It is still attached to the vine by a few strands, but barely hanging on. Can it tap into the water and nutrients flowing through the vine? Unfortunately, at some point the fruit growing on it will shrivel up and die. We cannot flourish if we are partially broken off from Jesus.
We need to be sure that we are fully connected to God—that we are planted deep in Christ. Our verse from Isaiah tells us that the righteous are “are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God.” This means that they are rooted and grounded in God’s Word, in His very Presence every day. When our spirit is in constant connection with Him, we will flourish and bear fruit.
Jesus describes this another way in the parable of the sower. He talks about a seed being planted in good soil. The seed that grew in the good soil produced a crop that was “a hundred times more than what was sown” (NIV). Now, that is flourishing! It is interesting that Jesus chose plants and seeds to demonstrate what our relationship with God should be like. Fruits produce seeds, which have the potential to produce more fruit. God expects us to “Pass It On”—pass on the love that He has shown us, the truth that He has taught us, and the promises that He has given us. Through the seeds of faith that come from our fruit, others can experience a life-changing relationship with our Lord. Let’s check to be sure that we are solidly planted in God’s Word, and that we are constantly refreshed by communing with Him. When we do this, God promises to help us flourish.
For further reading: Jeremiah 17:7-8; Galatians 5:22-24; John 15:4-8
Thank you, Lord, that You have equipped us to thrive and flourish. Let our branches be solidly connected to Your vine so that the fruit we produce is a true expression of You. Show us when we are allowing the sins of this world to break us away from You. Forgive us and restore us, so that we can constantly abide in You. We pray in the precious name of Jesus and for the Father’s glory. Amen.