Summary: Christ followers can’t grow to their potential unless they’re planted in church, not just attending.
Ps 92:12-14 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, (NIV) (There are benefits to being planted in God’s house
A seed can’t grow to it’s potential unless it’s planted. Sitting on top of the soil won’t do it. Christ followers can’t grow to their potential unless they’re planted in church, not just attending.
1. People who are planted flourish
Ps 92:12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, (NIV)
A. A palm tree can flourish in all types of conditions: Cold, hot, deserts and even during hurricanes. Palm trees are known for their flexibility. During a hurricane they bend, even to the ground but they don’t break. After a storm, the palm tree straightens back up and it’s even stronger than it was before the storm happened. It continues to flourish after the storm. Followers of Christ who are planted in the house of the Lord flourish during all seasons of life. Good seasons and bad ones. They bend but they don’t break.
I personally know several families in our church who had a very tough 2010. They suffered loss, unexpected trials, pain and difficulties. But they are still serving the Lord and flourishing because they’re planted. They didn’t give up on God and church. There are other people who go through the same trials but they’re not planted and they walk away from God and church. But the people who are planted flourish! They bend but they don’t break. They take a licking but keep on ticking.
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. (NIV) (It’s like the Marvin Sapp song titled I Never Would Of Made It: He says: I’m stronger, I’m wiser, I’m better).
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. (NIV)
2. People who are planted grow
Ps 92:12 The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; (NIV)
A. The Lebanon cedar tree can grow up to 130 feet tall. It takes 40 to 70 years for it to grow to 40 to 60 feet tall. It takes over 100 years for it to grow to 130 feet tall. For years this tree grows and grows and grows. One of the qualities of a planted follower of Christ is they continue to grow. Some people attend church for years but they never grow because they don’t get planted. We all know people who attend church regularly but they never grow. Every time you see them in the barber or beauty shop or your kids ball game year after year they’re the same. They have the same ole problems, habits and issues. They go to church but they’re not planted. You can go to church and not grow but you can’t get planted in the house of the Lord and stay the same! When you get planted, people see you a year later and they say he’s changed. He’s different. She’s more loving! He’s more kind! She talks different!
3. People who are planted produce fruit
Ps 92:14 They will still bear fruit in old age, (NIV)
A. People who are planted don’t just attend church but they are fruitful. Their life is making a difference for the kingdom of God. They understand that God has called them to be fruitful followers of Christ and not just faithful attenders to church.
John 15:8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
4. People who are planted stay fresh
Ps 92:14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, (NIV)
A. People who are planted in the house of the Lord stay fresh. In other words they stay on fire for God. There’s nothing worse than a dried up, stale, rusty, no zeal, lukewarm Christian. God hasn’t called us to get dried up and stale but to stay fresh and green. God has called us to keep our zeal, our joy, and our excitement for Christ. We are called to be people who stay on fire for Christ so that we can make a difference in our world for Jesus! John Wesley said: Catch on fire with enthusiasm and people will come from miles away to watch you burn! You know how we catch on fire and stay on fire for God, we must be planted in the house of the Lord!