Summary: This was a sermon as part of our purpose-driven series - Know, Grow, Show and Sow. This was the show sermon that bridged the gap between Grow and Sow. It can stand alone with some minor tweaks.
If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? It’s a question you might get asked in a job interview or by a psychiatrist right after they administer the Rorschach test
Jeremiah uses vegetation to contrast those who trust in God and those who turn away
Those who don’t believe in the one true God are said to “be like a bush in the wastelands” and “dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no on lives.”
Conjures up images for us probably of a ghost town in one of John Wayne’s or Clint Eastwood’s westerns with some dried up tumbleweeds rolling through town, propelled by a scorching wind
In contrast, those that turn to the Lord for strength are like trees. What kind of trees? It doesn’t say.
1. All kinds of trees, like you and I are all kinds of people. God will equip all kinds of people for all kinds of tasks.
It doesn’t say what type of trees, but it does describe the trees. What does it say about them?
2. Trees planted by water, sends out its roots by the stream
Ft. Riley, Kansas is a difficult location to navigate. It has few distinguishing features to use in order to navigate. For those of you who can’t appreciate the difficult in doing this, it is a little like trying to find an address in a major metropolitan area that you are unfamiliar with without a street map and half the city on your back bumper. It was difficult to navigate until I finally realized the key to navigating Ft. Riley. I began to realize that among the oceans of grasses and sunflowers, the only trees that were growing in our maneuver area were along streams. It seems that in this relatively arid region, the only trees that were able to survive were near sources of water.
That’s true for us – it is through the power of God communicated to us through the waters of baptism that we’ve been made alive but we need to stay near our river of life to stay alive too – Martin Luther encourage Christians to remember their baptism every time they washed their face.
3. It does not fear when heat comes, It has no worries in a year of drought
Drought – farmers worry about the return on their investment.
As Christians we don’t have we don’t worry about the return on our investment of time and energy in sharing the message of the Gospel. We don’t worry about the results. That’s up to God.
Parable of the sower – seed sown on the rocky ground springs up quickly but fades when the heat comes -> T. Row Price commercial with two runners on the beach (one quickly passes the other but a few miles up the road the faster one has stopped for a rest) – life, especially Christian life is not a sprint, it is a marathon
4. Its leaves are always green, never fails to bear fruit
It demonstrates its health by what it does. This is the showing part. Not like Janet Jackson but showing who we are, showing whose we are, showing what Christians do.
Practical applications for your congregation