Bible Top 1000

Trees Of The Lord
[ Selected ]

"The trees of the Lord are full of sap."
-Psalm 104:16

Without sap the tree cannot flourish or even exist. Vitality is essential to a Christian. There must be life---a vital principle infused into us by God the Holy Ghost, or we cannot be trees of the Lord. The mere name of being a Christian is but a dead thing, we must be filled with the spirit of divine life. This life is mysterious. We don't understand the circulation of the sap, by what force it rises, and by what power it descends again. So the life within us is a sacred mystery. Regeneration is wrought by the Holy Ghost entering into man and becoming man's life; and this divine life in a believer afterwards feeds upon the flesh and blood of Christ and is thus sustained by divine food, but whence it cometh and whither it goeth who shall explain to us? What a secret thing the sap is! The roots go searching through the soil with their little spongioles, but we cannot see them suck out the various gases, or transmute the mineral into the vegetable; this work is done down in the dark. Our root is Christ Jesus, and our life is hid in Him; this is the secret of the Lord. The radix of the Christian life is as secret as the life itself. How permanently active is the sap in the cedar! In the Christian the divine life is always full of energy---not always in fruit-bearing, but in inward operations. The believer's graces, are not every one of them in constant motion? but his life never ceases to palpitate within. He's not always working for God, but his heart is always living upon Him. As the sap manifests itself in producing the foliage and fruit of the tree, so with a truly healthy Christian, his grace is externally manifested in his walk and conversation. If you talk with him, he cannot help speaking about Jesus. If you notice his actions you will see that he has been with Jesus. He has so much sap within, that it must fill his conduct and conversation with life.

Gratitude, A Christian Essential

Gratitude means thankfulness, or to have kindly feelings for favors received. Our hearts should be filled with gratitude for the many blessings that God daily bestows upon us here in this time world. How we do need to give heed to David's exhortation in Psalm 107:15, "O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men." Everywhere we look, we see the handiwork of almighty God. The beautiful flowers, the graceful trees of the forest, the happy carefree birds, flitting from tree to tree and singing their praises to God for His goodness unto them, the mountains and valleys, hills and dales; all these things God created for His pleasure and our enjoyment. We, too, were created for His pleasure, but the only way He can get any pleasure out of us is that we live for Him and praise Him for His wonderful goodness unto us.

The Bible tells us that David was a man after God's own heart and his heart was full of praise to god as we read in Psa 34:1, "I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth." If we really and truly love the Lord with all our heart, mind, souls and strength, can we praise Him too much for His goodness unto us in redeeming us from life of sin and setting our feet upon the solid rock, Christ Jesus?

Let's be more thankful to Him and strive to live up to the exhortation given in Heb 13:15, "By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name." Up in heaven praise is continually going up to Him that sitteth on the throne. We are merely sojourners here on the earth preparing ourselves for heaven, so let's be more profuse in our praise to God. This makes God happy and it will make us happy too, if it comes right from the heart and isn't "put on". The closer we get to God, the more we're going to appreciate His goodness unto us and the more praise to His dear name will well up in our hearts and overflow to the point where we will give audible expression to it. Praise God forever and ever.!

Save Yourselves

On the day of Pentecost, Peter warned the people, "Save yourselves from this untoward generation." Acts 2:40. Other translators used words like "crooked," "perverse," and "wicked" generation. It was clearly a generation that was headed in the wrong direction, away from God, toward judgment. With the fresh anointing of Pentecost upon him, Peter preached separation, not revival.

People need to be saved from their sins, to be sure, yet Peter, in his first epistle, said, "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." I Peter 1:18-19.

Saving people from their sins is easy compared with saving them from their religion. Why do you suppose Jesus said to the chief priests and elders, "... the publicans and harlots go into the kingdom of God before you"? Matthew 21:31.

Let's take another look at Matthew 23:38. "Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Another key word is "left." It indicates an abandonment by God.

Up until this time, the nation as a whole had, for the sake of the small preserved remnant, enjoyed a measure of divine favour and protection. When they sinned, they were judged, but when they called on God, deliverance was available. An example was the Babylonian captivity which was God's judgment on centuries of wickedness. Yet there was a restoration and a rebuilding of the temple and the city of Jerusalem.

But the judgment Jesus predicted was not like what had happened previously. The divine protection was being removed and the devil was going to have a free rein. The whole nation was being turned over to the power of Satan. That's why Jesus wept.

There's a time to preach and pray and there's a time to leave.

I remind you again of the city of Bethsaida. In Mark 8:22-26 we find the account of a blind man being brought to Jesus for healing. Jesus first led him out of the town, had to pray for him twice, and then told him not to go back into the town or even to tell anyone who was going there! Each fact points to the spiritual state of that city. Despite its outward piety, in God's eyes Bethsaida was more wicked than the ancient cities of Tyre and Sidon, cities God had judged. The city of Capernaum was ranked below Sodom! Matthew 11:20-24. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. I Samuel 16:7.

The severest judgment will fall upon those who have had the greatest light. The greatest darkness lies in the hearts of those who have had light and turned away from it, choosing rather their own way. Remember, Jesus said, "Walk while he have the light, lest darkness come upon you ...." John 12:35. A great factor in this present darkness is the rejection of light.

Hebrews 10:26-27 describes the consequences of deliberately rejecting the grace of God: "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries."