Like a spiritual oak tree

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “And they will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “Like a spiritual oak tree”
This morning I want to take us back to our discussion from yesterday regarding “Wherever you go, find the Christians”. We need to surround ourselves with other Christians because it’s only within the environment of good Christian community that we can truly grow strong in the Spirit. In order to illustrate that, let me take us to Isaiah 61:3 as it is rendered for us in the Amplified Bible. The Amplified Bible is a translation that uses all the English words needed in order to capture the full meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek:
So they will be called the (oak) trees of righteousness (strong and magnificent, distinguished for integrity, justice, and right standing with God), the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
The prophet was describing what it would be like when people were living in right relationship with God and with others. He said they would be like mighty oak trees, strong and magnificent. They will be noted for integrity, justice, and right standing with God. He was writing about people who were once broken and in need of grace, but who become whole and strong and deep over time – like strong spiritual oak trees. 
In his book, “An Unhurried Life” author Alan Fadling explains Isaiah’s metaphor in this way: “Oaks take a long time to grow. A newly planted acorn can take two and three decades to provide significant shade, and these slow-growing oaks can live more than two hundred years. One reason for their longevity is the taproot they send deep into the earth that makes them very drought-resistant. Oaks are indeed solid, stable, reliable, majestic trees – but it takes them a while to get there.”
We need to take this same long view of our Christian growth. Spiritually, we can and should become like the solid, stable, reliable, majestic oak – with a taproot that runs deep and which keeps our soul nourished and strong. We get that way by settling into a consistent practice of the Christian faith that includes all the basic daily spiritual disciplines such as prayer and Bible study, as well as regular fellowship with other Christians. Full ongoing involvement for years and years in the life of a good church is critical for our spiritual growth.
We all can and should be in the process of becoming spiritual oak trees. But it will only happen if you are well-planted in a good church, settling in and staying put, as your roots go deeper and deeper. Let’s all strive to be spiritual oaks.
God bless,
Pastor Jim   

(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are close-by or, if you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, join us online at
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