The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life,
and he who wins souls is wise.
This verse was on the cover of our church bulletin today. It reminded me of what I have been collecting the last few weeks, gorgeous pictures of the trees around my neighborhood. I think now is the time to display them.
The service today was a “tree of life,” with the sweet presence of the Lord working miracles, the greatest of them the miracle of salvation. We had no traditional preaching—it was the Lord just speaking to each heart. The church—the body of believers—gathered around those needing healing, and prayed in faith. And God did his work. It was truly a New Testament church in action! I’m sure everyone went home as renewed and full of vigor as I feel.
The first mention of trees in human history is from the Garden of Eden, when God commanded Adam, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Gen 2:16-17).
We know that Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit, and so humankind was cursed under sin. But Jesus took on himself the curse and was hung on a tree to pay the penalty for our sins. In the Old Testament Law God had said that anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse. But Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, like it was written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”
That is one part of the story, but on the other hand trees are used to represent blessings.
Blessed is the man
who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever.
The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
planted in the house of the LORD,
they will flourish in the courts of our God.
They will still bear fruit in old age,
they will stay fresh and green,
proclaiming, “The LORD is upright;
he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.
Each tree is recognized by its own fruit.”
Revelation 2:7; 22:14
“To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life,
which is in the paradise of God…
Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right
to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.”
Enjoy the pictures and ask God to make your life fruitful. You can be like a tree planted by the waters: gracious and life-giving!
As you can see, trees are like people. Each one has its own personality. Some are big and some are tall, some are wide, others are small. I had a tree that had grown out of hand so it had to be cut down. Let the Heavenly Gardener care for you so that you don’t end up like my tree, just a flat old stump!