Tree of Life
I had a moment this week, where I had an epiphany. One of those moments where everything came together and seemed so clear. Jesus is the Tree of Life. Now, I’ve heard this sermon before, where we talk about all the comparisons and verses that state that Jesus is the Tree of Life. I understood it. He’s our life-giver. But, this week, it all just became clear. If you want to have the fruit of the Spirit, you need to be tapped in to the Tree of Life. If you want to be a new creation in Christ, lean in.
Let me tell you about my journey a little bit here. Years ago, when I was a teenager, I was a terrible person. I was the little spitfire of rage. Life had dealt me a bad hand. I was just angry, and it oozed out of everywhere. You know, hurt people hurt people. Then, age started to soften me, a little bit. But, still just really angry about everything. Sometimes, it was all consuming. But, then, years ago, when I started really following Jesus, when I came back to the church. I prayed for God to give me a new heart, a heart of flesh. ( 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26) And, as I have continued to lean in, as I have continued to seek Jesus and a personal relationship with Him, as I have asked to be a light for him, and to become more like Him – I have been transformed. I am a new creation in Christ. So new, that people don’t recognize me from my old life. So much, that people have a hard time believing me when I tell them how I used to be, sometimes I have a hard time believing it. Because God has changed me so much, and I’m so grateful. Thank God, he saves us from ourselves, and doesn’t leave us where we are.
My epiphany this week was how being tapped in to the Tree of Life is what produces fruit. Now, that may seem simple, but here’s where I’m going with it. It’s not that we need to be praying for patience, kindness, gentleness, self control. We need to be praying to be like the Tree, and the Fruit will come. If you pray to be like Jesus, if you lean in, the fruit comes on its own. <— That! If you think about a tree, it doesn’t will itself to produce fruit, fruit just comes naturally. A tree is just soaking up water and sunshine, and fruit comes. It doesn’t need to think about it, it doesn’t need to will itself to produce fruit. The fruit is the evidence of the tree getting nutrients. Now, how much fruit, or how nice of fruit depends on the nutrients. But, I believe I was over-thinking trying to get this fruit. Becoming a new creation wasn’t necessarily something I thought about, I was just leaning in. I was just focusing on God, and asking Him to make me what He wanted me to be, and the fruit is just a byproduct. Jesus had all of this fruit. We just need to ask to be more like Him, and we’ll have it too. I’m just going to leave you with some verses this week, and we’ll continue digging deeper in the weeks to come.
What does the Bible say?
About the Tree:
7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord.
8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river,
And will not [a]fear when heat comes;
But its leaf will be green,
And will not be anxious in the year of drought,
Nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken.” Genesis 3:22-23
And he showed me a [a]pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. – Revelation 22:1-3
25 So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. – Exodus 15:25
About the Fruit
“22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. ” – Galatians 5:22-23
Love: 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. – Romans 5:5
Joy: 52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. – Acts 13:52
Peace: 17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. – Romans 14:17
Longsuffering (Patience): 3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much [a]patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by [b]sincere love – 2 Corinthians 6:3-6
Kindness: 24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, – 2 Timothy 24-25
Goodness: 11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power – 2 Thessalonians 1:11
Faithfullness: 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 Forassuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. – Mark 11:22-23
Gentleness: Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. – Phillippians 4:5
Self-control: 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control [a]perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. – 2 Peter 1:5-7
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for saving us from ourselves. Thank you, that you sent your son to die, so that we may live. That we may bear fruit. That we may shine your light for those around us. That we may be a blessing to everyone in our lives. That they may see you through us. That we become who you want us to be, and that your fruit may be evident in us and through us. Thank you Father for all your blessings. Thank you for your amazing goodness. Thank you for giving me words to speak and ears for them to hear. That we may grow abundantly in You, Father. That you work in our lives to bring us closer, that we yearn to lean in. Thank you for all that You are, and all that You would have us be. IN JESUS NAME!!! AMEN!!
My missions focus this week, and for a few weeks to come, is Kid’s Night Out! Sponsored by my local church. They advertise in the papers and invite the whole community to a night filled with games for kids, and FREE BIKE GIVEAWAYS. They do this via Raffle. We’ve given away hundreds of bikes over the years, and while we’re raffling, we also share THE GOOD NEWS with everyone in attendance.
Article here from last year’s: https://brookingsregister.com/article/kids-have-their-night-at-holy-life
You can donate to this ministry here: Just choose “Missions”: