Bearing Fruit

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7‭-‬8 ESV

A tree in a commercial orchard is as pampered as any king or queen on planet earth. It is planted in the best soil, fertilized and kept free from weeds. In the growing season it is sprayed and treated every 10 days to guard it from pests and disease and irrigated in drought. Yet with all the advantages the farmer gives it, there are years when the harvest fails because of a late frost, an unexpected new disease or a late snowfall. Ultimately the farmer may do his best but only God is really in charge of the results.

The same is true in our lives. As today’s verse tells us, our fruitfulness is dependent on only one thing. We must decide to trust the Lord. Unexpected events and even calamity strike without notice. But God is never taken by surprise. Are you trusting in His care? Is He the stream your soul drinks from? Is He the keeper of your heart?

In God We Trust

I used to have breakfast at a diner early every morning before work. Over the cash register they had a sign saying; – In God We Trust ….All others pay cash!
If you are wondering who to trust anymore you are not alone! In the darkest hours of the Civil War the Treasury Secretary inspired by a personal letter from Rev Mark Watkinson wrote to the Philadelphia mint requesting the following:

“Dear Sir: No nation can be strong except in the strength of God, or safe except in His defense. The trust of our people in God should be declared on our national coins.”

In our own dark hour how much more should we learn to trust in Jesus? This weeks songs include. Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus – Trust and Obey and Oh How I Love Jesus.

Launching Out Again

And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.”  Luke 5:5

My grandfather was the captain of a destroyer during the war and long after retirement he remained firmly in command of the ship at home. Though we loved him dearly, we grandchildren learned to respond quickly whenever He barked “All hands on deck!” when it was time for chores; or “No excuses sir!” if we got caught doing something wrong. But one of his favorite sayings happened when we made excuses. He would pause with a smile, then point his finger directly at whoever was the excuse maker and say; “No if’s and’s or but’s”

Maybe Peter had a grandfather a lot like mine, because when Jesus asked him to go back out into deeper water to throw his net out again he simply obeyed. When Peter said, “I will let down my nets” he knew that meant that he would need to load them back in the boat, then call his brother and some of his friends and go back out after having worked all night. Last of all he had to throw the heavy, water soaked net back into the water with the possibility that it would just come back in empty again. It would have been a lot easier to say, “I’m so tired Jesus, why not ask John or James?” But none of those excuses kept Peter from obeying Jesus. He trusted what Jesus said by a faith he probably didn’t yet fully understand and launched out.

When God calls me or you to launch out with him we often have plenty of if’s and’s or but’s. “If you first give me this Lord, then I’ll be happy to obey.” or “And what about my sister, why can’t she do it this time?” or even “But Lord you know I always mess this up!” But God did not call someone else. He is not interested in a faster or more efficient way of getting things done. What He cares about is teaching us to trust Him. So instead of wasting time with our “if’s and’s or but’s ; why not just load up our nets, and launch out into the deep? Until we let down our nets we’ll never know what God can do to fill them!