Under the shadow of the “mighty oak”— some of the sidewalks here at the church are strewn with acorns of every imaginable shape and size. Last week, when I stopped by in fellowship hall to look in on our youth ministry “Kid’s Club”… several of the children had collected a cup-full of colorful acorns. Walking home that evening, I couldn’t help but notice that quite a few of the sidewalks between our home and the church had acorns scattered everywhere!
Strength, resilience, and beauty— the “mighty oak!” There is a prophetic (messianic) passage in the book of Isaiah that infers that we, as believers in Christ, are also “strong, resilient and all together lovely!” In Luke’s Gospel, the Lord Jesus quoted part of this passage when teaching in the synagogue in Nazareth, referring to Himself. “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory.” (Isaiah 61:1-3, NLT)
Did you catch the inference? “In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for His own glory.” How often do we think of ourselves as “strong” or “bounce-back resilient” or “altogether lovely?” Not often enough, I’m afraid! But we are— in Christ… The Bible clearly teaches that every believer has been set apart for God’s glory (“sanctified”). This is why we are called “saints”… because that is who we are, in God’s sight. We have no righteousness in ourselves, but we are accepted in the righteousness of God’s Son. The Apostle Paul said it like this: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB).
Stand tall… weather the storms of life… because that’s who you are, in Christ! “In (His) righteousness, they will be like great oaks— that the Lord has planted for His own glory.”
Together, Strong in the Lord…