Psalms 1 : 1 - 3, Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men's advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely. They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper. TLB
It's always refreshing when you can begin your day with some good news. I believe that is why the Lord has led me to share a portion of the first Psalm with you today. Please reread it until it begins to get deep into your spirit. Just look at the blessings that God has laid up for those who make the decision to remain planted by the river of living water.
As Christians, you and I have been called by our heavenly Father to undergo the conversion process of being made into the image of Christ. There are no shortcuts or detours; there is only faith and obedience through good times and difficult times. Now that we have been born again and have a glorious future in Christ, we realize and better understand the principle that apart from Christ, there is no life. In Christ, we move and live and are. We have accepted that truth and have chosen to conduct our lives according to the purpose and plan of our heavenly Father. We also know that this will require that we center our lives on Christ.
In other words, we must be willing to abide within the confines of the will of God in order that He might be allowed to transform us, through our cooperation, from being a carnal soul into a spirit-filled son or daughter of God. For many in Christendom, it might seem a little too demanding to have to give our "all" to Christ so that God can take what remains and change us into a person who continuously reflects the true nature and heart of Christ.
Once again, you may want to read the passage for today. In it, we're instructed to part company with the world and become planted in Christ. This will require us to be sold-out, committed, and consistent with the calling of God on our lives for as long as God allows us to live. Initially, committing to Christ at this level can be more than a little intimidating and can also seem impossible. However, it might seem this way because we are only focused on what we're being asked to give up. In today's scripture passage, we read that God has promised to reward those who make such a high commitment to Him with life, blessings, peace, and prosperity. When we allow God to transform us and to make us prosperous, it's not the same as the prosperity of the world which causes great sorrow. The blessing of God makes us rich and adds no sorrow to our lives.
The writer of Hebrews exhorts us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. This is a commandment of Christ, and we would do well to obey it. As we assemble ourselves together on a continual basis, the Lord will see that we are actively engaging in our own conversion process. Being in Christ means you have eternal life; however, serving Christ means that you have taken the next step in the process of allowing Him to live through you. As we continue engaging in His will while being planted like a tree by the water brook, God will cause us to begin to flourish, even in times or seasons of drought.
The word for today is CONSISTENCY. If you're not consistent as a child of God to the call of God, then your life can be compared to a farmer planting a tree or vine and going out every month and plucking it up. The results are disastrous. We're told in John 15 to abide in Christ, and as we remain connected to the vine, we will bear much fruit, and our fruit will remain. If you're not committed to your service to God in the way that God has had me lay it out for you today, I challenge you to take the next 12 months and commit to the Lord at a deeper level. Go to church, get involved in the work of the ministry where God would have you to serve, and stay rooted no matter what tries to pluck you up by the roots. At the end of the 12 months, you will see a difference in your life and walk. Others will also see the change and be blessed by the presence of God on your life.
Abiding in the Vine,
Pastor Asa Dockery