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nChrist
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« Reply #345 on: December 20, 2006, 08:54:02 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 34:15 Psalm 143:1-12

Willing to Lead

Read Psalm 143:1-12

How should we pray when we are going through trouble? We find several requests in David's prayer, and if we follow his example, God will lead us through our difficulties into blessing.

First, he says, "Hear my prayer" (v. 1) and "answer me speedily, O Lord; my spirit fails!" (v. 7). We don't have to shout to God; we don't have to argue with Him. We simply can come to Him and say, "Lord, hear me." When a child comes to his father or mother, the parent has his ears open. "The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry" (Ps. 34:15). Have you prayed to God about what worries you today?

David's second request is, "Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, for in You do I trust" (v. 8). In other words, "Speak to me, Lord." Each morning David meditated on the Word of God, and God guided him. Have you taken time to read the Bible and let its Author speak to you? He'll show you the way you ought to go.

David's next request is, "Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies" (v. 9). God can do that if we are walking in the way He wants us to walk. In verse 10 David asks for instruction and guidance. "Teach me to do Your will, for you are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness." Oh, how willing He is to do this!

Finally, David says, "Revive me, O Lord, for Your name's sake!" (v. 11). Why do we want God to bring us out of times of difficulty? Sure, we want relief, but we also should want Him to be glorified. We want Him to deliver us for His name's sake, that He might receive all the glory.

* * *

Your spirit can begin to fail when you go through extended trials. Ask the Lord for help, and He will lead you through difficult times. Always stay open to the guidance and instruction of God's Word. God will speak to you through Scripture as He leads you through your trial. Keep trusting Him, and He will accomplish what is best for you and what glorifies Him.

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« Reply #346 on: December 21, 2006, 06:00:02 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 144:1-8

Jehovah's Covenant

Read Psalm 144:1-8

Why should Almighty God pay attention to us? Who are we that we should receive His mercy? David asks these questions in verse 3. "Lord, what is man, that You take knowledge of him? Or the son of man, that You are mindful of him?"

What are we that God should pay any attention to us? Are we smart? I don't think so. Are we strong? Some animals are much stronger than we are. Are we righteous? No, we have sinned against God. Are we faithful? Too often we disobey Him. From the human point of view, there is no reason why God should pay any attention to us. "Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow" (v. 4). Compared to eternity, our lives are just a puff of smoke. They appear, and then they are gone.

Why should God pay any attention to us? Because God, in all of His mercy and grace, loves us. The word David uses for God in this psalm means Jehovah God, the God of the gracious covenant. He has made promises to us, and we can trust Him. David describes Him as "my lovingkindness and my fortress, my high tower and my deliverer, my shield and the One in whom I take refuge" (v. 2).

This is a mystery too deep for us to explain, but it's not too deep for us to experience. We may not understand why God should pay any attention to us, but we know that His Son came to be a servant for us. He died on the cross, a sacrifice for us, and now He lives in heaven, interceding for us.

* * *

God pays attention to you because He loves you and wants to be glorified through your life. Walk with Him and glorify Him with your life.

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« Reply #347 on: December 22, 2006, 02:48:29 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 144:9-15

The Joys of God's People

Read Psalm 144:9-15

"Happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" (v. 15). That's the way David concludes Psalm 144. In the first half of this psalm, he cries out to God for help. In the last half, he sings praises to the Lord because of the help He gave him.

"I will sing a new song to You, O God; on a harp of ten strings I will sing praises to You, the One who gives salvation to kings, who delivers David His servant from the deadly sword" (vv. 9,10). This shows David's personal joy in the Lord. We can picture him laying down his sword, picking up his harp and composing a new song to praise and glorify God. We ought to have personal joy in our hearts also. We have many reasons for praising God, but too often we remember only the sorrows of life and forget the blessings.

Then there is national joy--"the One who gives salvation to kings" (v. 10). David was the king, and when God delivered him, it was for the good of the nation. How we need national righteousness and national repentance to have national joy!

Finally, there is family joy. David talks in verse 12 about his sons being like plants and his daughters like cornerstones that are polished for a palace. What a joy it is in the home to praise the Lord and see family members growing in Him.

* * *

God's people ought to be joyful--expressing personal, national and family joy. Our joy is founded on what God does and who He is. Rejoice in the Lord today for all of His goodness, grace and mercy toward you in Christ Jesus.

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« Reply #348 on: December 23, 2006, 04:04:29 AM »

Title: Greatly to Be Praised
Book: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Author: Warren Wiersbe


Read Psalm 145:1-13

This psalm has special meaning for me. Several years ago a drunken driver hit me going 80 or 90 miles an hour. When I woke up in the intensive care ward of a hospital with broken bones and lacerations, this is the verse that went through my mind: "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable" (v. 3).

Let's praise God for His greatness. The psalmist says His greatness is eternal. "I will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever" (vv. 1,2). We will spend all eternity praising the greatness of God. His greatness also is unsearchable. We can't begin to measure it. We can't know its depth, its height or its breadth. And the greatness of God is memorable. "One generation shall praise Your works to another,... I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty" (vv. 4,5). We must tell the next generation of the greatness of God.

Then the psalmist praises the goodness of God. Verse 7 says, "They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness, and shall sing of Your righteousness.... The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works" (vv. 7,9). Verse 8 expounds the grace of the Lord: "The Lord is gracious and full of compassion." Aren't you grateful that He is slow to anger?

All of this leads to the glory of the Lord. "They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power" (v. 11).

* * *

As finite beings, we can scarcely comprehend God's attributes. But we can certainly praise Him for who He is and what He has done in our lives. Thank God for saving you. Praise Him for His greatness, His goodness, His grace and His glory.

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« Reply #349 on: December 23, 2006, 04:07:21 AM »

Title: God is Near
Book: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Author: Warren Wiersbe


Read Psalm 145:14-21

"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth" (v. 18). Isn't that a great promise? It's one you can put to work today. Let's look at it more closely.

First, God is near to those who are stumbling. "The Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all those who are bowed down" (v. 14). You may have stumbled and fallen. Perhaps you just didn't do what you should have. Maybe you stumbled in your job, and you are embarrassed and worried about it. Perhaps you have stumbled into sin.

Second, God is near to those who carry burdens. Those who are bowed down with the weight of care can find rest if they will call upon Him.

Third, God is near to those who are hungry. "The eyes of all look expectantly to You, and You give them their food in due season" (v. 15). Verse 16 shows how simple it is for God to answer prayer: "You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing." All God has to do is open His hand to meet our needs today. The problem is, we often don't open our hearts and cry out to Him.

Fourth, God is near to those who call upon Him. We have this great promise: He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and will save them" (v. 19).

Finally, God is near to those who love Him. "The Lord preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy" (v. 20). Follow the advice of James: "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (James 4:8).
* * *

God is not far from you. He's waiting for you to take that first step, to cry out to Him and say, "Lord, I want to draw close to You. Here I am." Have you stumbled? Are you carrying a burden, or are you needy? He promises to be near to all those who call upon Him.

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« Reply #350 on: December 23, 2006, 04:09:08 AM »

Title: The God of Jacob
Book: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Author: Warren Wiersbe


Read Psalm 146:1-10

"Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God" (v. 5). This tells us that God is all we need for today--and for tomorrow. When you know God, you have happiness, help and hope: happiness in walking with Him, help for the burdens of the day and hope for the concerns of the future. What more could you want?

Who is the God of Jacob? First, He is the creator. Verse 6 says He is the One "who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps truth forever." Any God great enough, wise enough and strong enough to create and sustain and run this universe can take care of our problems today.

Second, He is the Judge "who executes justice for the oppressed" (v. 7). God knows when you have been wrongly criticized. He knows when others have tried to make life difficult for you. Leave the judgment with Him. Don't waste your time and energy trying to fight battles that only God can fight for you. He's with all of His people, and He does what is right.

Third, He is the Father. Verse 7 offers a picture of the Father feeding the hungry. God's Word always assures us of His provision. "My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:19).

Fourth, He is the Redeemer. "The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners. The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;... The Lord loves the righteous" (vv. 7,8).

Finally, He is the King. "The Lord shall reign forever" (v. 10). Sometimes you may feel like saying, "I don't deserve to have a God like this." That's true, but He's the God of Jacob. Jacob stumbled and made mistakes, but God remained his God. The eternal God is our Refuge.

* * *

God is your greatest Refuge. But He doesn't simply shelter you; He provides for you and strengthens you. Is the God of Jacob your God? If so, call upon Him, and He will be your help, hope and happiness.

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« Reply #351 on: December 28, 2006, 08:09:44 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 147:1-11

The God of Your Heart

Read Psalm 147:1-11

The God of the galaxies is also the God of the brokenhearted. That's what David tells us in verses 3 and 4: "He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name."

The contrast we see in these two verses--between the heavens and the broken heart--ought to encourage us. God made the heavens. He spoke and it was done. His creation stood steadfast. The God who made the heavens is concerned about your broken heart. Others may not be concerned, but God is. He's not so far away that He doesn't know your heart is hurting. He's not so great that He can't stoop down to you when you are pained, weeping and looking for help.

Yes, the God of the heavens is the God of your heart. The God who numbers and names the stars knows your needs. He knows all about you, and thus He is able to meet your every need. The God who controls the planets in their orbits is able to take the pieces of your broken heart and put them together again. He will heal your broken heart, provided you give Him all the pieces and yield to His tender love.

"Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite" (v. 5). His love and understanding are limitless. His power is great. He can do what needs to be done.

* * *

The One who set the galaxies in motion is the same One who addresses your needs. There is no limit to God's love, His understanding or His power. Perhaps you have a broken heart today. Give Him the pieces and let Him heal your heart.

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« Reply #352 on: December 28, 2006, 08:11:24 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 147:12-20

Precious Treasure

Read Psalm 147:12-20

I wonder if the Old Testament people of Israel realized how privileged they were. This is what the psalmist addresses in today's passage. He's telling the Jewish people to praise the Lord because of all He had done for them. "For He has strengthened the bars of your gates; He has blessed your children within you" (v. 13). He gave peace in their borders. He fed them. He gave them His Word and His Law. He gave them land. "He has not dealt thus with any nation; and as for His judgments, they have not known them" (v. 20). God deposited with Israel the precious treasure of His Word.

Notice what the psalmist says about the Word of God. Verse 15 tells us that God's Word runs: "He sends out His command to the earth; His word runs very swiftly." When God speaks, that Word goes out like a rapidly running messenger and accomplishes His purposes. God runs the universe by His Word. He decrees things, and they happen.

God's Word also melts obstacles. "He sends out His word and melts them" (v. 18). God's Word can melt the cold, hard heart. Are you facing an impossible situation? The Word of God can melt any bars or walls and open the way for you.

Finally, God's Word blesses. "He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel.... Praise the Lord!" (vv. 19,20). Read the Word of God. It's a great treasure that, when invested in your life, bears fruit.

* * *

God's Word runs and accomplishes His will. It melts and opens the way. And it blesses all who will receive it, obey it and trust it. God desires that you spend time daily appropriating the riches of His Word. Do you invest God's Word in your life?

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« Reply #353 on: December 28, 2006, 08:13:04 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 148:1-20

Run By Decree

Read Psalm 148:1-14

When I was a young pastor in my first church, we had to build a new sanctuary. My friends know that I don't know the first thing about construction. I can't read blueprints. I can't even make a birdhouse. But we began the project. Construction went slowly, and it was difficult. Then winter came.

I recall standing by that piece of property, looking at those snow-covered arches and wondering, "Lord, why is it taking so long?" Then the Lord led me to Psalm 148 and showed me that when we complain about the weather, we should remember that He is in control. He gave me a great word of assurance from verse 8: "Fire and hail, snow and clouds; stormy wind, fulfilling His word."

All of Psalm 148 tells us that the Word of God is in control. When He speaks in heaven, things happen on earth. In verses 1-6 the heavens praise the Lord. In verses 7-10 the earth praises the Lord. And in verses 11-14, all people, young and old, praise the Lord, including kings, princes, judges and ordinary people. Why? Because His Word is creative. Verse 5 tells us He commanded, and they were created. He also has "established them forever" (v. 6).

God does not run this world by consensus but by decree. His Word is sufficient to guide our lives.

* * *

God's Word creates, establishes and fulfills His will. The next time you find yourself in a storm, don't complain; instead, surrender. Remember, the stormy wind as well as the calm wind fulfills the Word of God. Submit to God's control and to His creative Word in your life.

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« Reply #354 on: December 29, 2006, 02:09:53 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 149:1-9

Singing in Strange Places

Read Psalm 149:1-9

"Praise the Lord! Sing to the Lord a new song" (v. 1). We have a tendency to want to sing the same songs in church, and there's nothing wrong with that. The psalmist isn't telling us to buy a new hymnbook. He means we should have a new experience with the Lord so that we will have a new song of praise to give to Him.

Every new valley that we go through, every new mountaintop we climb, every experience of life ought to be writing on our hearts a new song of praise. When we face a difficulty, we have an opportunity to have renewed faith and see God do new things.

In verse 1 the psalmist tells us to sing in the congregation. I can understand that command. I enjoy congregational singing when people sing to the Lord. "Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King" (v. 2). I am glad when God's people gather in a congregation of celebration, rejoicing in the goodness and the glory of the Lord.

But he also tells us we should be joyful on our beds. "Let them sing aloud on their beds" (v. 5). This could be while we're resting or recuperating from an illness. Perhaps you're lying in bed right now, and you don't feel well. Sing praises to the Lord upon your bed and worship Him. Then the psalmist says, "Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations" (vv. 6,7). This is a picture of warriors on the battlefield, singing in the midst of the battle.

It is easy to sing in the congregation, not quite so easy to sing on our beds and difficult to sing on the battlefield. But if we sing, we'll glorify the Lord, and we'll grow. "He will beautify the humble with salvation" (v. 4). We'll be happier and holier and more beautiful if we sing to the Lord.

* * *

God brings you through different experiences so you may learn new dimensions of His love and grace. What difficulty are you facing today? Don't simply endure or waste it. Use it as an opportunity to find a new song of praise to God.

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« Reply #355 on: December 30, 2006, 11:11:32 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 150:1-6

An Orchestra of Praise

Read Psalm 150:1-6

The hymnbook of the Bible is the Book of Psalms, and the last psalm summarizes what God wants us to know about praise and worship. The Christian faith is a singing and praising faith. No other religion has praise and singing such as we have, because we have the song of the Lord in our hearts. The psalmist answers some important questions about praise in this psalm.

Who is it that we praise? "Praise the Lord" (v. 1)--not the church, not the preacher, but the Lord. Our problem is that we often don't see the Lord. We look at gifts or lack of gifts from God. We say, "Why didn't the Lord do this, or why wasn't it done differently?" We don't really see Him. Let's get beyond the gift to the Giver. Let's get beyond the blessing to the Blesser. Let's praise the Lord. "Rejoice in the Lord," Paul said. "Again I will say, rejoice!" (Phil. 4:4).

Where do we praise Him? "Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty firmament" (v. 1). What an interesting combination. When we praise God in church, it's just like the praise of the angels in heaven. In the sanctuary or wherever we are, let's praise Him.

Why do we praise Him? "Praise Him for His mighty acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness!" (v. 2). We praise Him for what He is and for what He does.

How do we praise Him? With the sound of the trumpet, with the psaltery, the harp, the timbre!, the dance, the stringed instruments, the flute and the loud cymbals. The psalmist is saying, "Get the whole orchestra together. Find every instrument you can, and let's praise the Lord." Some people don't like that kind of praise, but we are commanded here to praise Him and to make a loud song to His glory.

* * *

All of nature is praising God today, but His people are prone to forget to praise Him. Ask yourself these praise questions of Psalm 150 and then meditate on the psalmist's answers. You have much for which to give praise. Bring joy to God's heart by praising Him.

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« Reply #356 on: December 31, 2006, 07:03:38 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 1:1-6

Preface To God's Hymnal

Read Psalm 1:1-6

Have you ever read the preface to the hymnal used in your church? Few people ever do. The preface to God's hymnal (the Book of Psalms) is Psalm 1. It begins with a word we often use--blessed. Nowhere does Scripture tell us that God blesses programs or promotions. But it does teach that He blesses individuals. He blessed Abraham so he might be a blessing to others. And He blesses us so we might bless others.

What you delight in is what will direct your life, so be careful what you enjoy. The blessed person delights in the Law of the Lord (v. 2). He delights so much in the Word of God that he meditates on it during the day. Meditation is to the soul what digestion is to the body. It means assimilating the Word of God.

The blessed person is like a tree (v. 3). A tree has roots. The most important part of your life is your "root system." Don't be like the ungodly, who are like chaff (v. 4). Chaff doesn't have roots. It is blown away by every wind that comes along. Your root system is important because it determines your nourishment. It also determines your stability and your strength when the storm comes and the wind starts to blow.

People can't see your root system, but God can. Praying and meditating on the Word of God will cause your roots to go down deep into His love.

God delights in blessing His children. But we must prepare ourselves for His blessings by first appropriating the resources He has given us. Delight in the Word of God and feed on it. But do more than occasionally read the Word; meditate on it constantly. Make it your source of spiritual nourishment, and God will bless you with strength and stability.

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« Reply #357 on: January 02, 2007, 07:43:28 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 1:1-6

Preface To God's Hymnal

Read Psalm 1:1-6

Have you ever read the preface to the hymnal used in your church? Few people ever do. The preface to God's hymnal (the Book of Psalms) is Psalm 1. It begins with a word we often use--blessed. Nowhere does Scripture tell us that God blesses programs or promotions. But it does teach that He blesses individuals. He blessed Abraham so he might be a blessing to others. And He blesses us so we might bless others.

What you delight in is what will direct your life, so be careful what you enjoy. The blessed person delights in the Law of the Lord (v. 2). He delights so much in the Word of God that he meditates on it during the day. Meditation is to the soul what digestion is to the body. It means assimilating the Word of God.

The blessed person is like a tree (v. 3). A tree has roots. The most important part of your life is your "root system." Don't be like the ungodly, who are like chaff (v. 4). Chaff doesn't have roots. It is blown away by every wind that comes along. Your root system is important because it determines your nourishment. It also determines your stability and your strength when the storm comes and the wind starts to blow.

People can't see your root system, but God can. Praying and meditating on the Word of God will cause your roots to go down deep into His love.

God delights in blessing His children. But we must prepare ourselves for His blessings by first appropriating the resources He has given us. Delight in the Word of God and feed on it. But do more than occasionally read the Word; meditate on it constantly. Make it your source of spiritual nourishment, and God will bless you with strength and stability.

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« Reply #358 on: January 02, 2007, 07:44:47 AM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 1:1-2

Separated and Saturated

Read Psalm 1:1,2

Two of the most popular words in the Christian vocabulary are bless and blessing. God wants to bless His people. He wants them to be recipients and channels of blessing. God blesses us to make us a blessing to others, but He has given us certain conditions for receiving blessings.

First, we must be separated from the world (v. 1). The world is anything that separates us from God or causes us to disobey Him. Separation is not isolation but contact without contamination. Sin is usually a gradual process. Notice the gradual decline of the sinner in verse 1. He is walking (Mark 14:54), standing (John 18:18) and then sitting (Luke 22:55). Becoming worldly is progressive; it happens by degrees. We make friends with the world; we become spotted by the world; we love the world, become confirmed to it and end up condemned with it. Lot is an example of someone who became worldly. He looked toward Sodom, pitched his tent toward Sodom, lived there, lost everything and ended in sin.

Second, we must be saturated with the Word (v. 2). Whatever delights us directs us. We saturate ourselves with the Word by meditating on it. Meditation is to the spirit what digestion is to the body. When we meditate on the Word, we allow the Spirit of God within us to "digest" the Word of God for us. So not only do we delight in the Word, it becomes a source of spiritual nourishment for us.

Enjoy the blessings God has for you and allow Him to make you a blessing to others. (A third condition, being situated by the waters, is the topic of our next devotional.)

God desires to bless us, but we must meet His conditions for receiving blessings. By staying separate from the world and keeping saturated in the Word, we may expect God's blessings. Resolve to meditate on the Word of God and obey it. He will make you a blessing to others.

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« Reply #359 on: January 03, 2007, 12:46:57 PM »

Author: Warren Wiersbe
Source: Prayer, Praise and Promises
Scripture Reference Psalm 1:3-6

Are You Situated by the Waters?

Read Psalm 1:3-6

A tree is a blessing. It holds soil, provides shade and produces fruit. The godly are like trees, with root systems that go deep into the spiritual resources of God's grace (v. 3). But sadly, many professing Christians are not like trees but are like artificial plants or cut flowers with no roots. They may be beautiful for a while, but soon they die.

A tree needs light, water and roots to live. We all have resources upon which we draw life. The question we need to ask ourselves is, Where are our roots? The person God can bless is planted by the rivers of water. We must be careful not to be like Christians who are dry and withered and depend upon their own resources. They are like tumbleweeds, blown about by any wind of doctrine.

To have the blessings of verse 3, we need to meet the conditions of verses 1 and 2. That is, we must first be separated from the world and saturated with the Word to be situated by the waters.

God desires to bless us, but we need to meet certain conditions to receive His blessings. We bear fruit only when we have roots, and we must draw upon spiritual resources to bring forth fruit in due season. To bear the fruit of the Spirit, we must allow the Spirit to work in us and through us.

In contrast to the believer, the ungodly are not like trees but are like chaff. They have no roots, produce no fruit and are blown about. The ungodly reject the Word of God and will perish without hope (v. 6). As Christians we must not reject the ungodly but try to reach them. God blesses us so that we might be a blessing to others. His Spirit helps us bear fruit that can help win the lost.

Are you like a tree or like chaff?

We need God's resources to bear fruit. But where we place our roots is paramount. Only as we grow them deeply into the spiritual resources of God's grace will we produce fruit. Make the Bible your spiritual resource. Delight in it and feed your soul with its truth. God can use you to help win the lost.

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