Save the World...Plant a Tree?

Doug Story

“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit."  Jeremiah 17:7-8

The other day I was walking through a store and I saw a large sign that was advertising some plants.  The sign read: “Save the World, Plant a Tree.”  As I walked closer to the sign, I could obviously see that it was an advertisement for a sale on plants and trees in the garden section of the store.  I remember stopping in front of the sign chuckling and thinking to myself, “hmmmm, of ALL the crazy stuff happening in our world today, do we really think trees are the answer to all our problems?  I think not.”  I have never heard of shade or branches for that matter saving the world.

As we look at the world, the one thing we can agree on is that it needs saving.  We as a people have messed things up, we have messed our lives up.  I’m sure if you were to do a survey of your friends, neighbors and coworkers you would find that many if not all of them are hurting on some level.  They are going through pain, whether physical, emotions, or relational pain.  In fact, all of us on some level, whether we like to admit it or not, are going through something that is painful and unpleasant.  We are living in a world that is broken and sinful and as a result has effects on us.  YES, even as Christians we will, and in many cases are, are in need of saving from the mess we are in.  The good thing is that we have hope.  We have hope and His name is Jesus.

In Jeremiah 17, we find a passage explaining how we can have hope in the midst of difficult days, difficult situations, and difficult people.  We can have hope when our trust and our confidence is in the LORD, when we are planted in Him and in Him alone. When Jesus is our source of strength, hope, and guidance our life is like a tree that is planted by a stream whose roots our nourished by the refreshing water of the LORD.  In order to experience this refreshing water of the LORD, we must first trust and have confidence in HIM and HIM alone.  We don’t trust ourselves to get us through.  We don’t trust the latest celebrity guru who gives nice advice.  We trust the LORD.

By trusting in the LORD, we have the benefit of two marvelous and wonderful things according to this passage:

• First, we don’t worry because God is in control and He is our source of strength.  We depend on Him and His sovereignty to see us through the lowest and most fearful moments in our life.  Trusting in God should be easier than we make it.  All we have to do is look at Jesus and how much God loved us in sending Him to die for us and our response should be trust and have confidence in knowing God is in control of every situation.

• Secondly, we see fruit in our lives.  Basically, by trusting in God and trusting in Him for our strength and for our survival in all things, our life will produce fruit.  The way we live, the decisions we make, the relationships we have, and the conversations we speak will begin to resemble that whom we are depending and trusting and following.  Make sure that is Jesus.  Anything that is produced by us should resemble Him.  That is why it is so important to be rooted in God and His word.

I am not naïve or stupid enough to say that trees will save the world; however, if we start acting like trees and rooting ourselves in God and in His Word maybe, just maybe, we will start to produce fruit; fruit that looks like Jesus.  Then and only then will things begin to change.

Trees are sometimes pretty, but only Jesus can save the world!

Heavenly Father, help us to be rooted in you and Your Word.  Produce in us the fruit that will make a lasting impact in the world.  Fruit that bears the resemblance of Jesus.  Amen.

4 comments (Add your own)

1. Brenda Sutherland wrote:
Wow! what an awesome devotion.

Thu, March 22, 2012 @ 2:46 AM

2. Randy Emon wrote:
Good stuff Doug. Thanks for this great reminder.

Thu, March 22, 2012 @ 6:15 AM

3. Steve wrote:
An illustration that can be understood. Two great statements made: 1)In order to experience this refreshing water of the LORD, we must first trust and have confidence in HIM and HIM alone. 2)Secondly, we see fruit in our lives. Basically, by trusting in God and trusting in Him for our strength and for our survival in all things, our life will produce fruit.

Thu, March 22, 2012 @ 6:33 AM

4. Nancy El Fattal wrote:
Good to see you again Doug. Wonderful devotional. We need to remember also that the best trees need to be pruned from time to time to cut out all the bad branches and to increase fruiting (fruit trees). We as Christians need to be pruned too by our Awesome God so that we can stay fruitful for him. Hugs,

Thu, March 22, 2012 @ 8:51 AM

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