“The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.”
Praise be to you, Yahweh, the great I AM, the self-existent, eternal, unchanging, holy and perfect One—and paradoxically, the Lover of sinners. While your qualities of righteousness, holiness and justice dictated the necessity of judgment, condemnation and punishment, you chose, through your own suffering, to have mercy triumph over justice, to have grace trump punishment, to have love topple wrath. You called us rebels to yourself, cleansed us, transformed us into new creatures and adopted us into your family, making us righteous in Christ.
You planted us in your courtyard, making us flourish, sprouting lush, green leaves of praise to shade those around us, and succulent, delicious fruit of the Spirit for others to taste. You make it possible for us to get our roots deep down into the wonderful water of your Word so even in drought we can remain green, bearing our fruit in its season, and being successful in whatever you call us to do (Psalm 1:3).
You are the great Giver of good, supplying what is needed to keep your children growing, maturing, bearing more and more good fruit. You have provided all that is necessary for living a godly life and for overcoming the evil of the world (2 Peter 1:3).
In your wisdom and grace, your great patience and kindness, you leave it to us, your children, to draw this living water up through our roots by reading, studying, meditating on your Word, to remain in your courts, to abide in the vine and to bear your fruit.
To those of your children who keep their roots growing down into the water of the Word, you promise: “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green…” (Ps. 92:14).
As we grow old, lose our physical abilities, have less strength, hear and see less, and may seem to dry up on the outside, we will still bear good, rich, delicious fruit for those around us: the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of good works, the fruit of people coming to Christ—which is just the opposite of what happens if we live naturally rather than supernaturally. And you cause us to remain fruitful so that we can declare “the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him” (Ps. 92:15).
To you, O God, be honor and glory and praise. To you be worship, adoration and magnification. To you be power, might and exaltation. You are worthy, you are glorious, you are Elohim, the triune God, the Creator and Sustainer of all.
Prayer: “I bow before you, Heavenly Father in admiration; I rise up in enthusiasm; I go forth to wholeheartedly worship you through obedience. May your name be honored today in all I think, say and do, my beloved God. Amen.”