Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns. Don’t hoard your goods; spread them around. Be a blessing to others. This could be your last night. When the clouds are full of water, it rains. When the wind blows down a tree, it lies where it falls.
God has declared His People to be oaks of righteousness (Isaiah 61:3) to proclaim the year of the Lord’s Favor. With branches of love spread far and wide basking in the Light of His Love with roots firmly planted in the foundation of His Word creating a resting place for the weak and weary. To offer comfort to those who are sad, encourage the downtrodden, be a joy to those who are mourning and be a garment of praise for those with no voice. God has big plans for you. There is nothing more majestic than a giant oak tree that has weathered generations reaching from a seedling to a towering presence strong in the midst of time and storm. The oldest living tree is a live oak which people have named the Angel Tree. It is believed to be in excess of 1,500 years old. An estimated 65 feet tall with a circumference of over 25 feet, the Angel Tree shades approximately 17,000 feet of ground cover. It is not excessively tall but has an extensive canopy of limbs. Hurricane Hugo did significant damage to this amazing tree in South Carolina, but due to its deep roots it made a full recovery. Over time this ordinary tree grew into something extraordinary. It may not be the tallest tree or the most beautiful shrub but it has grown into a history maker. You were created to be like the Angel Tree. With a life that touches others rooted and grounded in the Love of Jesus Christ. God created us to be generous people who are multifaceted and charitable. By reaching out in life and actively sharing the Blessing of Salvation with others, our roots continue to ground us in His Kingdom. When the storm clouds fill with rain and mighty storms are unleashed, we will prevail as oaks of righteousness. Not stunted shrubs in the desert but flourishing trees planted by streams of Living Water. I want to be that tree. If I were to fall, would the Kingdom miss my influence and love or would I be just another fallen tree in the forest? God, make me a mighty oak of righteousness rooted and grounded in Your Love. I want to be a history maker in Your Kingdom.
Jeremiah 17:5-8 (NLT)
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.
The deeper the roots the stronger the tree, but shallow planting gives way in the storms of life. Winds of testing are assured. There will be trials in life. However that doesn’t mean that Children of God must be moved. Deep roots allow our exterior to be tossed in the wind while our foundation and heart are stable. Unmoved by the storm but refined by His Love as the Lord blows away those things that hinder our growth even the drought of refinement does not harm the mighty oak of righteousness. The River of Life that flows beneath the surface will never be contained but overflows nourishing the soul of God’s People when they need it most. The wind of testing will not take you out. The storms of adversity will not bowl you over. The fire of refining will not burn you out. You, my friend, are an oak of righteousness planted squarely in the center of God’s Love. Dig deeper and tap into the Living Water. It will sustain you. His Word will anchor you when life seems to be coming apart. You may lose a few branches, but it is God pruning those things hindering you from producing the fruit that He desires. You will be restored. You will be rejuvenated as His Purpose begins to blossom in your life. Trust the Lord. He is your Hope. Have confidence in Who He is and His Plan for you. Nothing can stop you from continuing in your purpose with such a heart. You will continue to give from an internal system untouched by wind and rain but supplied by your Father with love.
Psalm 92:12-14 (NLT)
But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the Lord’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.
Trust in the Lord. Be confident in His Word. Secure your hope to its foundation. You will flourish like a palm tree. You will be strong like the cedars of Lebanon. You will become an unmovable oak of righteousness planted in the Lord’s Own House. You will be established in the Presence of God. You will not fall and cannot fail, but you will flourish and grow in His Love and Care until your influence begins to touch the lives of others as you spread God’s Love and grow in His Purpose. You will remain refreshed and thrive in His Kingdom no matter what circumstances and storms pass through your life. You will not be left behind as a fallen tree in a vast forest but you will be embraced by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Stay rooted in the Word of God. Be established in a life of prayer and praise. Worship the Lord of the Harvest as He produces good fruit in you! Grow where you are planted. Spread wide your arms to embrace those God has placed under your umbrella of care. Be a mighty oak of righteousness thriving in your Father’s House. Be a tree planted in Living Water!