Grow up toward the light;
become trees of righteousness
"Establish your Roots"
But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.
~ Matthew 13:23
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the word, this one will be blessed in what he does.
~ James 1:22-25
Through the scriptures we learn to know God better, to invest in a relationship with Him, and with our improved relationship with God we can live this changed life out to others every day and make a positive difference.
The better we know Word the more we will be rooted and grounded in Him. When storms of life hit we will be able to deal with it because of Him. We will be able to stay standing and go through the storm because we know HIM and we know that we are safe in Him no matter the raging storms.
We need to live a life worthy of a Kingdom Citizen. When we accept Christ as our Saviour we receive Holy Spirit and we then set out on this journey to also have a renewed heart. When Holy Spirit enters your spirit He awakens your spirit, and from your spirit, God can then communicate with you and change your heart. We do not immediately receive a completely new heart. This is something we have to work at daily. Both Saul in the old testament and Saul (who became Paul) in the new testament were exceptions. God blessed them instantly with a complete new heart. Sadly we read that King Saul did not ‘keep his garden’ and he allowed that new heart to become as if it had never been changed. He neglected his own garden to the point of destruction.
The best way to get to know God is by reading His Word, and then putting his word into practice. When we read the Word we also increase our faith. And by faith, we please Him.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves… this one will be blessed in what he does.
~ James 1:22-25
So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
~ Romans 10:17
But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
~ Hebrew 11:16
The Word is also full of DO’s and DON’Ts – boundaries. These boundaries are there for our protection and not for spoiling our fun! They are there to protect us physically and to protect our hearts. If we do not know the Word we will not know the boundaries and we will not be able to protect ourselves from the temptations and attacks of the enemy. It would be very difficult to fight the temptations coming at us every day because of a lack of discernment. Remember, without God we are no match against the enemy and the enemy is hard at work every day wanting to destroy your garden.
When we look at the picture of the tree on the cover page we definitely get a sense of peace and comfort. This tree is clearly getting enough nutrients and water and is safe and secure. The roots are strong and established and the leaves are green and healthy. There is continual blossoming and fruit at all times and there is a beautiful fragrance and song coming from the tree. This is what God has in mind for each one of us.
He will be like a tree planted by the streams of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper.
Let's take a look at our roots
A tree cannot grow without a root system. If the roots are unhealthy the tree will be unhealthy. If the root system is weak the tree will topple over easily; be uprooted easily.
In the Word, we read that the Olive Tree represents Israel and we are grafted into the Olive Tree. That means we do not have our own root system anymore but we draw our sap from the root we are grafted into. This is good news for us because this means that the ROOT is good and strong. When you accept Jesus as your saviour as a gentile you get grafted into that perfect root.
Who is the ROOT? Jesus is the root. Jesus was born a Jew. This means that our roots are in fact stemming from the Jewish culture.
By acknowledging this it does not mean we will go back and live under the law and religion of the Jews. We have been set free from the law by grace. But when we understand the Jewish roots certain things in the Word make more sense. For example, certain parables Jesus used when speaking to the people have their meaning in the Jewish culture at the time.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE OLIVE TREE
•It is after 14 years when the tree reaches maturity.
•Harvesting time is in the month of October.
•Its fruitfulness lasts for many years – it lives and bears fruit for centuries.
•Olive trees have a remarkable number of blossoms, many of which fall without ever maturing into fruit. Sometimes the breeze blows upon the tree and the falling blossoms look like a shower of snowflakes.
•The tree has a very large root system that can get enough water even in dry conditions.
I heard this told:
The farmer (Horticulturalist) tells
The cultivated tree is planted by design while the wild olive tree is a product of bird droppings in a field somewhere and is a lone tree. The lone tree does not bear fruit as cross-pollination is necessary for bearing fruit.
The wild olive tree will appear the same as every other cultivated olive tree up until the point of blossoming but they never produce olives.
When a farmer wants to increase the production but he hasn’t got more land to plant more trees or he doesn’t want to wait the many years for the trees to mature (14 years), then he does the following:
He begins by cutting off the perfectly healthy fruit-bearing branches of the cultivated tree and lays them aside.
Then he cuts off branches from the wild olive tree and grafts them in at the place where the cultivated branches were cut off. The DNA of the branches and the tree does not recognize one another and the sap of the tree gets forced into the new branches. If it wasn’t grafted in at the exact place of the cut-off branches it will not grow. The rich sap of the root begins to force its way into the branches. Then, after 3 years, the farmer drills holes alongside the grafted wild branches and he inserts the cultivated branches that had been cut off. When these cultivated branches are grafted back into the tree next to the wild branches, it becomes ‘jealous’ of the wild branches and miraculously begins to draw the sap themselves and it comes back to life. For a while, the wild branches do not bear fruit and draw sap along with the cultivated branches which also do not bear fruit.
Then, on the 7th year, it bears fruit together with the wild olive branches!
23 And they (Jews) also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 For if you (Gentiles) were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these (Jews), who are natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree?
25 For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.
So, it is time for the gentiles to pray to God to bring in the full number of gentiles so that the Jews can be grafted back in!
WILD OLIVE TREES
Isolated trees scattered over many parts of the land, especially in Galilee, are sown by the birds (bird droppings). As a rule, the wild olive is but a shrub, with small leaves with little or no oil. On its own it does not bear fruit.
CONTRARY TO NATURE (Copied from www.oldpaths.org)
In Bible times, it was very common to graft olive trees. A branch from a cultivated olive tree was taken and grafted onto a wild olive tree. The wild olive tree did not produce very good fruit. But the good cultivated olive tree did produce very good fruit. Wild olive trees would grow up and take up space with its root system. To keep from having to cut down a tree and plant a new seedling, a branch from the good tree would be grafted onto the wild tree. This good branch would then produce fruit while getting nourishment from the wild tree root system. Several branches would be grafted onto a wild tree.
God was using the grafting process to make a very important point. Instead of grafting a good branch onto a bad tree, God took a bad branch and grafted it onto a good tree. This was opposite of the way the first century people grafted olive trees. God had a good tree with a good root system. The Gentiles were represented by the wild olive tree. God took the wild olive tree, the Gentiles, and grafted them into the good tree and its root system.
The reference to the branches being broken off means that Jews who did not accept Christ were unacceptable to God. They were cut off from the tree. This shows that just because someone has a sincere heart and believes in God does not mean that person will be acceptable to God. A person must believe in and obey Jesus Christ to be acceptable to God.
11 I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.
To become a Tree of Righteousness we have to understand that it was given us as a gift and it starts with the ROOTS.
Colossians 2:4-10 ~ NKJV
As you, therefore, have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Just as plants draw nourishment from the soil through their roots, so we draw our life-giving strength from God.