And He said to them, "It is written,'My house shall be called a house of prayer,’…”
Matthew 21:13 NKJV

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Gary Stebbins
Church on the Rock - Melbourne

When we examine our lives or the lives of others, we often look at the fruit. What fruit do we see on the trees of our lives? Certainly the fruit that is on our trees is important. In some ways it is a measure of how we are doing in our Christian walk.

When you look at a tree, what is it that determines whether the fruit on that tree is going to be good or bad? Is the tree planted in good soil? Is it being watered and fertilized? These are all necessary for a tree to bear good fruit. But in reality what determines whether a tree bears good fruit or not is the condition of its roots. The roots provide support for the tree, so it can weather the storms it might face. The roots are also the means by which the tree draws nourishment from the soil.

In our Christian lives, what do our root systems look like? What are some of the roots that are necessary for us to live a successful and fruitful life with God? Certainly at the top of the list is our relationship with God, prayer, worship, and the study of God's Word.

Psalm 1:1-3, describes our life with God like a tree. Psalm 1:1 tells us what not to do, "Do not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers." Psalm 1:2 tells us what to do, "delight" in the law of the Lord and "meditate" in His law day and night. The result of heeding the psalmist’s instructions in verses one and two is found in verse three. The trees of our lives will yield its fruit in its season, our leaves will not wither, and whatever we put our hands to will prosper.

The word meditate in verse three means to "engage in contemplation or reflection." It is to take time with God, to listen for His voice, study His Word, and reflect upon what He speaks to our minds or impresses upon our hearts. Prayer is a tool that God has given to us to strengthen our relationship with God. It is one of the major roots in the tree of our life that we must work at keeping healthy. If we allow this root to die it will definitely affect the fruit we find on our tree.

Have you taken time to examine the fruit on the tree of your life recently? If you are not happy with the fruit or would like to see it increase, examine your roots and make sure you are giving them the attention they need. Are you actively cultivating your relationship with the Lord, do you take time each day to pray, are you reading and studying His Word faithfully, do you worship him with all your heart?

So, how are your roots?