Should it be said, O house of Jacob: “Is the Spirit of the LORD angry? Does He do such things?” “Do not My words do good to him whose ways are upright?
When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!” Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?
Micah 2:7, Amos 7:2, Haggai 2:3
The country will look like pine and oak forest with every tree cut down—
Every tree a stump, a huge field of stumps.
But there’s a holy seed in those stumps.
At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail. A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
Job 14:7, Isaiah 11:1
The Lord is good an His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
Family praying extends an incredibly long way out, because what we consider “family” includes aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews. Although these are usually prayed for only when deeper needs arise, we are all connected to the same root source–Jesus who is the shoot of the stump of Jesse.
I pray that you, being rooted and established in love…may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Fear the LORD, you His saints, for those who fear Him lack nothing. Surely His salvation is near those who fear Him, that His glory may dwell in our land.
Ephesians 3:17, 19, Psalm 34:9, Psalm 85:9
Every word of God is flawless; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. He holds victory in store for the upright, He is a shield to those whose walk is blameless…The LORD will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.
Proverbs 30:5, Proverbs 2:7, Psalm 85:12
The tree of life is Jesus. Apart from Him we are nothing but “dead wood” that is gathered for kindling.
It’s exciting growth to live in complete oneness with the will of
God. It is never dull or static because life-on-the-vine is not
a one-time, once-for-all commitment. It is something we have to work at constantly, moment by moment.
The word of God is living and active. (Hebrews 4:12) Once it is planted in our heart, we will grow. He sent out His word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. (Psalm 107:20)
The Parable of the Growing Seed
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is important because only God makes it grow. The man who plants and the man who waters have one purpose, and each will be rewarded according to his own labor. May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.
1 Corinthians 3:7-8, 1 Thessalonians 5:23, Colossians 4:12
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED
“Then Jesus asked, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches.”
The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed which is the smallest seed.
Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin! (Zechariah 4:10)
“There is hope for your future,” declares the LORD, “And your children will return to their own territory.” (Jeremiah 31:17)
We need patience until the seed grows to be a tree. Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance. (Hebrews 6:12)
…because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
(James 1:3-4) Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. By standing firm you will gain life.
(Matthew 5:48, Luke 21:19)
The Kingdom of Righteousness
“The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with His angels, and then He will reward each person according to what he has done. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
James 5:7, Matthew 16:27, Galatians 6:9
For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Nothing makes me happier than to hear that my children are living according to the truth.
1 Thessalonians 2:19, 3 John 1:4
There were only two trees in the Garden of Eden as there are only two choices in life–choose God’s way and walk with Him for life or selfish pride and walk the lonely road that leads to sin and death.
What causes fights and quarrels among you? Aren’t they caused by the selfish desires that fight to control you? (James 4:1)
…”but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”
(Genesis 2:17) Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. (James 1:15)
Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.
(1 Peter 2:11)
This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.
Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.
Walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us–I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God’s Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins. (Galatians 2:20)
Look, a righteous king is coming!
And honest princes will rule under him.
Each one will be like a shelter from the wind and a refuge from the storm, like streams of water in the desert and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.
Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth,
and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it.
Even the hotheads will be full of sense and understanding.
Those who stammer will speak out plainly.
In that day ungodly fools will not be heroes.
Scoundrels will not be respected.
For fools speak foolishness and make evil plans.
They practice ungodliness and spread false teachings about the Lord.
They deprive the hungry of food and give no water to the thirsty.
The smooth tricks of scoundrels are evil. They plot crooked schemes.
They lie to convict the poor, even when the cause of the poor is just.
But generous people plan to do what is generous, and they stand firm in their generosity.
Listen, you women who lie around in ease. Listen to me, you who are so smug. In a short time—just a little more than a year—you careless ones will suddenly begin to care.
For your fruit crops will fail, and the harvest will never take place. Tremble, you women of ease; throw off your complacency.
Strip off your pretty clothes, and put on burlap to show your grief.
Beat your breasts in sorrow for your bountiful farms and your fruitful grapevines. For your land will be overgrown with thorns and briers. Your joyful homes and happy towns will be gone.
The palace and the city will be deserted, and busy towns will be empty. Wild donkeys will frolic and flocks will graze in the empty forts and watchtowers until at last the Spirit is poured out on us from heaven. Then the wilderness will become a fertile field,
and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.
Justice will rule in the wilderness and righteousness in the fertile field. And this righteousness will bring peace.
Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in safety, quietly at home.
They will be at rest.
Even if the forest should be destroyed and the city torn down,
the Lord will greatly bless His people.
Wherever they plant seed, bountiful crops will spring up.
Their cattle and donkeys will graze freely.
Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to Him. (Psalm 34:8)
Because Lord Jehovah is God, our sustainer and our helper; Lord Jehovah will give love and honor and will not withhold his good things from those who walk in perfection.