Being & Building Followers & Friends of Jesus

He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
Psalm 1:3
As a Christian, don't you often feel out of place in this world?  I do.  This world is a dry, barren place that seems content with no water.  From this world's point of view, it is completely normal to have withered leaves and no fruit.  After all, that is what we see as we look around...people with withered leaves and no fruit.  Which is why a Christian should stand out so much.  When you see a green tree in the desert with fruit, it is obvious that water is close by.  When the world sees a Christian, it should be obvious that living water is close by.

"He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'"  John 7:38

Jesus made it clear.  If we are His, we will have living water within us.  Do you know what that means?  We will yield fruit.  When it says in Psalm 1:3 that a person yields fruit in its season, understand that yields is an imperfect tense.  It is a continuing, repeated action.  For a believer, fruit is a given because we have living water within us.  There is no chance of not producing fruit!  
"My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples."  John 15:8
Does my life prove that I am His disciple because I am constantly producing fruit?
The tree described by the Psalmist also has another important quality.  Its leaf does not wither.  Again, the word wither is written in the imperfect tense.  This means that, while this tree may be placed in an environment with little water and trees around it are fading, this tree has strong, beautiful leaves.  This tree is still connected to the living water, therefore will never wither.  No matter what I see around me in this horribly dry world, my leaves will continue to remain strong and green because I am connected to the vine of Jesus.
There is one last characteristic about this tree.  In whatever he does, he prospers.  Prospers is written in the imperfect tense.  Are you sensing a theme?  You see, this tree always prospers.  Why?  It has nothing to do with the tree itself.  It has everything to do with the water that the tree is connected to!  The word prosper means to go forward with successIf I am connected to living water, my life will have success for Him.  It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Him.  Because if I am connected to Him, He will be the One leading me and He never fails!
No matter where we are today, we can take comfort and refuge in one other thing about this tree.  This tree was planted exactly where it was.  It was not a wild tree.  God placed this tree exactly where He saw fit and provided with water to make it thrive in that environment.  He has placed me exactly where I am for a reason.  While I may be discouraged and feel out of place as I look around at the barrenness of this world, He provides my nourishment so that my life with produce fruit continuously.
Father, thank You for the reminder this morning that my life comes from You and You alone.  You provide what I so desperately need.  May my life be a continuous picture to this world of what it means to have living water within me.  I pray for an incredible harvest of fruit for Your glory.  Thank You for the promise that my leaves will never wither.  I know that You will always come through.  May I be faithful to you exactly where You planted me.

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