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Be an Olive Tree: summer devo. 3

June 28, 2016

 

“But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God;I trust in God’s unfailing love for ever and ever. For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people.And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.” Psalm 52:8-9

 

What do you know about an olive tree? A lot of facts? Nothing at all? Well, you are in the right place, because here is everything you need to know about olive trees:

 

Olive trees are sustainable! AKA: they are good for the environment, and they never stop growing. In Italy and Israel, experts have found olive trees almost 4,000 years old that STILL PRODUCE OLIVES. Dang, that’s a long time to still be growing fruit. The olive tree is one of the most talked about trees in all of literature (including the Bible, holla!). Get this: olive trees are super healthy for the environment. Even the smoke that comes from burning an olive tree’s wood is okay for the air! Its ashes can even be used to fertilize a garden.Olive trees not only provide food, but the oil is used in lip balm, shampoo, bath oils, hand lotions, soap, massage oil, dandruff treatment, cosmetics, and perfume. The oil is used in cooking and is burned for light. The leaf is used in medicinal teas. The greenish-brown wood is valued by woodworkers.Olive trees grow very slowly and develop really deep roots. They produce huge trunks that can handle droughts.

 

So, now that you are an olive tree expert…Here is a question to consider:

Why did the author of Psalm 52 compare himself to an olive tree?

 

He said “…But I am like an olive tree flourishing in the house of God…”

 

Why didn’t he say “But I am like a Christmas tree” or, “I am like an oak tree,” or “I am like a palm tree?”  The author of Psalm 52 deiced he was like an olive tree. After learning about olive trees, I think I see why he choose to be an olive tree.

After all, olive trees are strong, deeply rooted, and healthy. The fruit they produce is really useful and they last even through tough seasons.

But the author wasn’t talking about just any old Olive Tree. No! The Olive Tree he compared himself too was an olive tree “flourishing in the house of God.” What do you think it means to “flourish in the house of God?”

 

To flourish literally means: grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment.

OK. So, The psalmist said that he felt like an olive tree that flourished, or grew in a healthy way because of its favorable environment, AKA: God’s presence. This is the best way the author could describe his relationship with God. His love for the Lord was so strong that he had to write it down and express it. He wrote Psalm 52 to share just how his relationship with God felt like. As we said before, olive trees are strong, deeply rooted, and healthy. They produce fruit that is useful and they last even in tough seasons.If we were to take a clue from the psalmist of Psalm 52, we’d see that we need to be like olive trees, too!

 

We need to be strong in the Lord.Read Deuteronomy 31:6

We need to be deeply rooted in Christ.Read Colossians 2:7

When we are strong in the Lord and rooted in Christ, we have a healthy relationship with God.Read Philippians 4:13

We need to bear good fruit.Read Galatians 5:22-23

We need to trust in God, especially during hard times.Read Proverbs 3:5-6

 

I don’t know how things have been going for you this summer. Maybe summer 2k16 is AWESOME. Maybe you are BORED out of your mind. Maybe you have had some TOUGH times, and you’re worn out. Wherever and however you are so far this summer, it is ALWAYS important to remember how we can ALWAYS be with God…like an Olive Tree. I want to be an olive tree, don’t you?!

I want to be strong in the Lord, I want to be deeply rooted in Christ, I want to bear good fruit, and I want to trust in Jesus through the good times and the bad. Olive Trees have it figured out.

 

The author of Psalm 52 took it a step further. Not only did he express how he felt like an Olive Tree…but he said:

“For what you have done I will always praise you in the presence of your faithful people.And I will hope in your name, for your name is good.”

These words express how IMPORTANT it is to be thankful. If we are going to be Olive Tree’s this summer: people who grow deep and strong in our relationship with God…then we HAVE to be thankful. Being thankful is much more than saying “grace” before food, or thanking God for the “good things in life.” Thankfulness is an attitude. Ever heard of having an attitude of gratitude? When we genuinely are grateful to God, our perspective changes. We see Him as our providing father, loving best friend, and number one fan. When we thank God throughout our days, every day, we realize how much we have…how blessed we are. When we are thankful, we are filled with Joy! So much joy that we want to bless others with our words, our time, and our gifts. Thankfulness is the key to flourishing!I don’t want to be an olive tree that takes things for granted. I want to be an olive tree that is deeply rooted in Christ, and that flourishes and grows because of my attitude of gratitude. Let’s do that together. This week…be an olive tree.

 

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