14 SEP

2017

TODAY'S WORD 4U 2DAY

Environments

‘The godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.’ Psalm 92:12 NLT

When a new person comes to your church, school/college/uni, or your workplace, how do you tend to react? We know we’re supposed to make new people feel welcome. But sometimes, especially when we’re with a close-knit group of friends or among people we know well, we can be a bit wary of letting new people join in. While it’s sensible to be cautious with strangers, we might also be worried that they’ll upset the balance of our friendship group or challenge the way we’ve always done things. And when we feel that way, we can’t create an environment that’s truly welcoming and nurturing, and that encourages people to grow their faith. In the Bible, there are a lot of verses that talk about trees. Psalm 52:8 says, ‘I am like an olive tree, thriving in the house of God.’ (NLT). Psalm 92:12 tells us, ‘the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon’ (NLT). Psalm 128 compares families to trees: ‘Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!...Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table’ (vv. 1-3 ESV). In a suitable environment, trees don’t need much coaxing or special care to grow. If the gardener creates an atmosphere that’s right for them, they’ll have the best opportunity to thrive and become strong and fruitful. And we need to create the right environment in our church, school, or workplace, so that people who come into it experience God’s love in action. If we resolve to see new people the same way that God sees them - precious, loved and full of potential - we’ll start to create an environment where everyone can thrive and grow in faith, strength and confidence.

What now?
Next time you meet someone new, make a conscious effort to see them as God sees them.

Is 23-25, Eph 1

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