Outside the dining room at Pierrepont there is a large oak tree, and at present the ground surrounding it is littered with thousands of acorns. Every time I pass by I marvel at the fruitfulness of this one tree and the number of acorns it has produced, and it makes me think about Jesus’s desire for us to be fruitful. He says: “I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit” (John 15:16).
Today’s verse from Isaiah 61 refers to oaks, or large trees, of righteousness. It comes just after the verses which set out clearly what Jesus was sent to do in binding up the broken hearted, releasing people from bondage, bringing comfort and restoring beauty and joy to their lives. The people who have received this healing and deliverance from Jesus are then to be “oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendour”. We are healed for a purpose!
When planting a new tree or shrub, gardeners would spend time preparing the ground and making sure that the position is just right for the particular variety to be planted. God takes the same care to plan the perfect place for each of us, so that we can use the unique gifting and personality that He has given us, as well as the experience and background of our lives. Nothing is wasted. We are called to bear fruit in the particular situation in which He has planted us. All this is for His glory (John 15:8), for the display of His splendour.
However, in order to bear fruit, the roots of a tree need to be sound and healthy. For us this means that we need to be deeply rooted in Jesus and in His word, and we need to remain, or abide, in Him, drawing nourishment from Him and doing everything in His strength, not our own. If we do this, there will be an abundance of fruit from our lives, like the acorns on the Pierrepont oak tree!
Prayer: Lord, thank You for choosing me and for the unique situation you have planned for me. Help me always to be fruitful for Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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