Live in Community With Each Other and with God

ODB – July 16, 2017 – Luke 24:44-49

We are living in a fast-paced world, with fast-food restaurants and instant coffee. And yet no one denies that a multi-course, home-cooked meal will out-taste, and out-nourish a fast-food concoction any day. Slowly brewed ground coffee beans of your choice is likely to be preferred by genuine coffee lovers. Unfortunately, too many Believers have adopted the fast-food, instant-coffee mentality when it comes to their feasting on the Word of God.

I maintain an unshakable commitment to the ministry of ODB and to the excellence of its Devotional product. Listening to, and reading the ODB 3-minute Devotional is how I begin every day. But before I can write my commentary, I must invest several hours in the Word, and with the Lord. We should learn to think of our ODB Devotional as the appetizer. Fitness trainers recommend 30 minutes per day in physical maintenance exercises. The result is that more often than not, we can tell those who exercise regularly, just by observing them.  The same is true of those who daily feast on, and spend quality and quantity time in God’s Word. It shows. And yes, we live in a fast-paced world, but we must make time to feast on the milk and the meat of God’s Word so that, as a result, we can grow spiritually.

As I reflect on the Sequoia tree, I cannot help but be reminded that this ought to be a picture of believers in Christ living in community with each other and in communion with God. The stately structure of this massive tree is a fitting imagery of the profile that the Believer should display to the world. We are to so let our light shine among men that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

Matt DeHaan in today’s Devotion observed that the massive Sequoia tree that grows to heights of approximately 300 feet is kept erect and stable for thousands of years by an astonishingly relatively shallow matted root structure of no more than 14 feet. This is the maximum recorded depth of its root structure. But in the November 18, 2014 edition of ODB, Joe Stowell observed that, if necessary, this same tree can thrive in a minimum of only 3 feet of soil, thanks to its matted root system. This is super astonishing.

According to Sequoia Ministries International (SMI), “Giant Sequoias can survive in less than 3 feet (1 meter) of soil by spreading their roots far from the tree, up to 300 feet (100 meters).”

The matted root system of the Sequoia is a fitting picture of how Believers should be interdependent on, and supportive of each other. SMI says, “Giant Sequoias do not compete with each other for resources, rather their huge root systems fuse together and they share resources.”

But even as we emphasize the importance of individual and collective regular study of God’s Word, there is a caution. Our study of God’s Word must always be in conjunction with a conscious reliance and dependence on God’s Holy Spirit Himself to teach us His Word. We read in Luke 24:45, “Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.” Verse 16 says, “but they were kept from recognizing him.” And verse 31 says, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him.”  God plays an active leading role in our relationship with Him. God’s Word belongs to God. There is no more reliable guide to, and teacher of His Word, than He Himself. Let’s invite Him to lead, when we are ready to feed.

Remember to visit RBC’s Our Daily Bread Devotional today at www.ODB.org

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