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Posts Tagged ‘Isaiah’s use of trees’

Good Roots, Good Life

Preaching Notes

Psalm 1

Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

His delight is in the law of the Lord,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does prospers.

Not so are the wicked!

They are like chaff that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish.

I. The Tenacity of the Honeysuckle Vine

Honeysuckle invasion in backyard hedge

Volunteered to clean it out

Two days became 6 weeks

The vine was already regrowing at beginning

Provide personal experience to relate to Bible Stories

The vine and the branches – John 15

The parable of the sower – Luke 8

First significant botany lesson

Life of plants is in their roots

II. First Day with my New English Bible

Decided to read through the Psalms

Early 70’s – Hippies still in vogue

Motto – Peace, love, and happiness”

Constitution’s The pursuit of happiness

First line in NEB caught me heart and mind

Happy is the man …

I wanted to be happy

It was American and cool

Second verse

His delight is the word of the Lord

He meditates on it day and night

I can do that as a reader and thinker

Told me I would be happy if I did this

Did not tell me what happiness was

Always a multitude of definitions to happiness

Hippies – drop out, drop acid

Society – conform to the world

Dad – hard work and loyalty

III. Happiness Defined in Psalm 1:3

He is like a tree, planted by streams of water 

yielding his fruit in season

It’s leaf never fades

He prospers in all he does

This image exploded in my mind

Grew up along the banks of the St. John’s River

Massive oak trees lines the river

Gnarly branches swooping to the ground

Reaching to the sky

A Habitat of Life

Provisions and protection

Hundreds of years old

Jacksonville’s The Treaty Oak

These trees were survivors

Floods, drought, hurricanes, tornados, pests

The lived and began more beautiful and productive with age

This was the happiness I wanted

This is the happiness God wants you to have

To have a purposeful, fruitful, sustaining life

Which provides life to you and others

A life which endures

IV. Botany and Bible coming together

Life is hard

Roots are source of renewal and restoration

When difficulties arise

When life is cut-off

Imagery of Book of Isaiah

God’s people displaced by brutal kings and their sins

Imagery of Exile – Isaiah 2

People rejected God

God has a charge against them

==> Cedars of Lebanon and Oaks of Bashan being cut-off

Imagery of Hope – 11

From the stump of Jesse shall come a shoot (vs 1)

The root of Jesse shall be a signal for all the people (vs 11)

The new life to anticipate – Isaiah 55

Trees of the field shall cap their hands

Promise of God – Isaiah 61

You will become oaks of righteousness

V. People ask me why Children’s Ministry is so important

Our ministry to them roots them in God’s love and Word

John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world

Romans 1:16 – The gospel is the power of salvation

Romans 10:17 – Faith comes by hearing

Children are tender plants

We either root them well or do not root them at all

Psalm 1:4 provides a contrast to 1:3

They are blown away by the wind

They do not stand in the judgement

We either root them early and provide them a good life

Or we leave them without roots, to blow in the wind

Study on Psychology Today magazine in 1980’s

Children rooted in faith at a young age are healthier and have a better life

As parents we have major responsibility to fulfill

In precious little time, which flies

Infant becomes a toddler

Child becomes a teen

The teen becomes an adult

What seeds are you sowing in their lives

What investments are you making in their future

Only one seed, one investment

Secures their happiness

Secures their living

Secures their endurance

Rooting your children in God’s love and word

Is the best investment you can make in their lives

Yet so many Christian parents invest in other things

Falsely believing there will be time later to invest in God

Event the atheist reject this way of thinking

For the church and Christian parents

Our biggest investment should ALWAYS be in children and youth

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