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'Like a Tree'

“He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.” — Psalm 1:3

Everything about the tree is valuable and productive. Trees help clean our air. Trees contribute to our health and provide us with oxygen. Trees help clean our drinking water. Trees provide much-needed cooling. Likewise, the righteous are valuable and productive to God.

But trees don’t grow overnight. It takes a long time for a tree to reach maturity. If we choose to take the path that leads us to heaven — the path of righteousness the writer teaches in Psalm 1 — then we need to be in it for the long haul to grow into maturity. We can make the mistake and think the passing of time guarantees maturity; that old age is the instant cure for immaturity.

However, in Hebrews, this was a problem that had to be addressed. And could God ask us the very same questions? When are we going to grow up? When are we going to be serious about growing in faith?

Let me make a suggestion: Be a spiritual “gym rat.” A “gym rat” is defined as someone who spends as much time as they can playing sports or working out in a gymnasium. In Heb. 5:14, the word “trained” in the Greek is where we can get our English word gymnasium. Be a person who can’t get enough time in the spiritual gymnasium. The psalmist tells us that the ones who live the blessed life are those who meditate on God’s laws day and night. Spend time talking with Him, reading His words, thinking about the goodness of God. Be a student of the Word. Be in the spiritual gym every day, so that you know the word of God and you’re able to walk it out. The spiritually immature Christian isn’t going to have any discernment — good or evil — to make the right choices in life. Learn the law of God, then put it into practice.

“If you’re not going forward, you’re going backwards” (Phil. 3:12-16). Mature people think differently than immature people. A spiritual person’s emphasis is upon spiritual growth. It’s not lip service that it’s important to grow spiritually. It’s taken seriously. My hope is that we all desire the local body at Tidewater to grow and mature in the faith. I want every one of us to be a solid oak tree.

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