Tree of Life

Proverbs 11:29-31 

29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise. 30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives. 31 If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

Utang na Loob

         One Filipino cultural trait or practice is “Utang na Loob!” “Utang na Loob” is a sense of obligation to return similar favor to someone who has done us favor. It is a priceless debt of gratitude that goes beyond quantifiable value.

If you were to reflect on your life, do you have in mind a particular person you may be very thankful for that you feel obligated to return similar favor to? Say, you have debt of gratitude for what you may have benefitted from.

Someone was employed as helper in popular restaurant. His manager told him to pursue a college degree. He was hesitant because he was satisfied with his pay. To his surprise, his manager told him, “If you do not enroll in college, I will give you more work to do without additional compensation.” The man was terrified; so, he immediately enrolled in college. Few years later, he completed a degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management. Then he’s promoted as manager. When he encountered difficult management problems, his superiors guided him.

Dedicated workers who commit to learn are beneficial to the business.

Together, let’s reflect on what Christ had instructed in Matthew 28:18-20,

18All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

The term “disciple” is literally translated as “student or learner.” Our main goal as Christian is to make disciples who are devoted to learn everything that Christ has commanded us. What is your expertise? Your expertise can be your tool when you teach disciples, who may commit and devote to serve the Lord.

1.  Serve

29 Whoever brings ruin on their family will inherit only wind, and the fool will be servant to the wise.

         This is very straight-forward reality and warning about inheritance. To have a legal right to inheritance from deceased relatives, the government requires written documents as concrete evidence for legal claim. For example, the last will and testament of the decease will dictate how inheritance will be allocated.

Together, let us reflect what it says on Ecclesiastes 5:16, 16As everyone comes, so they depart, and what do they gain, since they toil for the wind?

         Everyone is given a moment to live in this world. The best life experience we can have in this world is to explore the mission purposes that the Lord had designed for us. The Lord created us with particular purposes. Can you agree?

         Well then, let us seriously meditate on what it states in Ecclesiastes 1:3.

          13What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?

Fruit Tree

         Last spring, I helped Bro Glen planted Apple and Pear tree in his backyard. Bro Glen died in summer, and his property was posted for sale. I looked at the pictures included; I observed that the Apple tree we planted was missing. I tried to comfort myself from the death of Glen with the thought that at least I helped.

Reflect on what it warns us in 1 Timothy 6:6 (AB), But godliness actually is a source of great gain when accompanied by contentment [that contentment which comes from a sense of inner confidence based on the sufficiency of God].

         Death of people we care should remind us that our time on earth is limited. Pray that you live the mission purpose that God designed for you. Christ died on the cross so that everyone who believes in him will be saved from eternal torture.

2.  Save

30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and the one who is wise saves lives.

         Planting fruit trees is also therapeutic activity. When fruit trees are properly taken care of, they produce good harvest. Accordingly, King Solomon planted many fruit trees, and he compared fruit bearing trees to a righteous person.

Just as fruit trees provide food, it’s also wise for the righteous to save lives.

It reminds us in James 5:20, 20 Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.

         Apostle Paul preached about the death of Christ before the angry Jewish leaders. But instead of repenting of their sin, the Jewish leaders persecuted him. Why was Apostle Paul so devoted to preach the gospel before angry leaders who crucified Christ? He expressed his purpose in Romans 11:14, 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.

         Actually, the crucifixion of Christ exemplified that the message of salvation would attract animosity. Pray that the Holy Spirit inspire you to discern potential believers that God prepared for you to witness to and share the gospel of Christ. God prepared reward for obedience just as he decreed sentence for wickedness.

3.  Sentence

31 If the righteous receive their due on earth, how much more the ungodly and the sinner!

         Everyone is a sinner and sentenced to eternal torture. We need a Savior.

If you compare your life now and before you believe Christ which one is better?

Has your life as Christian been better than before your conversion? Has the Lord blessed you with material things that you did not ever expect or dream about? Has the Lord showered you with material things as proof of his care for you?

         The religious people who are prosperous may not be easily impressed by material abundance, but you may testify of your contentment in life as Christian. Is it easy to convince religious people? 1 Peter 4:18 says, 18“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”

Witnessing for Christ requires empowerment from above. We have to be inspired by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and the Spirit of revelation. He will put words in our mouth when we talk about Jesus Christ. It takes practice like any godly command, for us to be always dependent on the Holy Spirit.

So pray that the Lord reminds you to pray. It teaches us in 1 Timothy 4:8,

8For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.


         The young people who went bowling on Saturday: How do you feel today? Do you feel pain in your arms and muscles? If you only play bowling once a year or even once a week, you surely feel pain in your body muscles and joints also.

Physical exercises are beneficial to physical muscles. Similarly, spiritual exercises are beneficial to spiritual muscles. If you do heavy physical exercise once a week, you feel the pain later on for several days. And what may happen when we only practice spirituality on Sundays? Do you feel spiritual pains also?

Physical exercise or spiritual exercise, to practice regularly is beneficial.

Well, for us to grow spiritually, what spiritual exercises should we practice regularly? Practically in everything we do initially, we should follow fundamental and basic rules. Before you drive a brand new car, you need to know basic info about the car. Read its manual and learn how to operate infotainment of the car.

Similarly, it’s very basic spiritual exercise to read through the Scripture. It declares in 2 Timothy 3:17, 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

To be sure of what God wants to practice spiritually, read the Scripture for instruction. Many Christians were burned out, why? Did they serve the Lord with their effort? Maybe, they ignore the right ministry for them. Pray that the Lord leads you to the ministry he wants you to participate, and he sustains everything you need, and you will praise and thank him all the days of your life until eternity.

Would you believe that God would compensate you materially for your service to him including eternal rewards? Pray for increase of faith to believe it.

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