Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Peter Langbroek
I have a summer assignment for you. No, there is no worksheet to fill in or a desk to sit at. It's summer vacation, right?

First, I want you to stop reading and look at a tree. I'll wait.

So, did you see all of the tree? If you said yes, you're wrong. You missed about one-third of the tree because you can't see it. What part of the tree am I talking about? Circle one of the following:

a) leaves

b) branches

c) trunk

d) roots

The letter 'd' is the correct answer. We all seem to forget the roots of a tree. Yet, roots nourish, strengthen, and promote the growth of a tree. The roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil, which in turn, move up the trunk to every part of the tree.

Second, I would encourage you this summer to take your Bible, walk to a tree near a stream with a building in sight, sit down, and read Psalm 1, Colossians 2: 6,7 and Ephesians 3: 17-19.

Years ago, when many Israelites had been exiled to Babylon, God, the Holy Spirit, inspired a man to write about a righteous man. Babylon was a hot dry land fed by two large rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates. To farm beyond those rivers, irrigation canals were built. Farmers would take water from the canals to irrigate their plots of land where much grain was grown. Beyond the farms, was desert. Often, near the canals, were trees that were lush and fruitful, fed by the rich soil and constant water supply. That is why the Psalmist compared a righteous man to a tree.

Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the
ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the
seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord;
and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be
like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth
his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and
whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1: 1-3).

A righteous person will do this assignment eagerly. He will sit, read the passages, think about them, and pray to God under the shade of the tree. In fact, he will more than likely want to do it again.

Many years later, God, the Holy Spirit, inspired Paul to compare a tree to living as a Christian. He wrote: "As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him, rooted and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgivingÓ (Colossians 2: 6,7).

Faith is like a root of a tree. It sinks down and grows and spreads more deeply into the ground, which is Christ. If you've ever planted a seed, you'll know that the first part of plant to grow is its root. Without the root, the plant dies.

The lesson of this verse is that when the root grows down, the plant grows up. What we see--the beautiful tree--is what the root has received from the ground. Like a tree, our Christian walk must be shown, not only in what we don't do, but also in what we do. Re-read Psalm 1: 1-3 to find out.

Third, I encourage you to sit under that tree, look at the building, and consider how it was built. Many years ago, I spent six weeks in construction with Mr. Rick VanderMaarel, someone some of you may know. I helped him frame a house from the foundation up. Believe me, it did not happen overnight, but it was built piece by piece.

Many times the Bible compares Christ to a foundation and a righteous man or the true church to a building. Never be discouraged when you realize you are unfinished. The end is in sight.

This school year you were ÒtaughtÓ (see Colossians 2: 7) by teacher(s) and/or parents. Use whatever godly teaching you've received so you may walk in Jesus Christ the Lord. Ephesians 3: 17-19 promises a deep understanding of the love of God and His fulness to anyone rooted in Christ and lives in Him. Such love passes all knowledge, and makes the heart overflow with thankfulness to God.

So, this summer think of a tree so that you may be encouraged to put your faith in Christ. But, don't forget the rest of Psalm 1: "The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore, the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perishÓ (Psalm 1: 4-6).

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