Monday, June 24, 2013

Not for Private Consumption

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“But the river itself, on both banks, will grow fruit trees of all kinds. Their leaves won’t wither, the fruit won’t fail. Every month they’ll bear fresh fruit because the river from the Sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing.” (Ezekiel 47:12 The Message)

In the last post, we left Ezekiel possibly scratching his head over the swamps that were left for salt. To his way of thinking, they may have seemed useless. We also saw that the “swamp places” in our own lives, while perhaps not pleasant or inviting, still have an important function in our lives. It is in our “swamps” that a lot of growth and purification happens. It is in our “swamps” that a lot of junk is filtered out of our lives. We need to value those “swamps”.

In today’s verse, Ezekiel comes back to look at the main River of Life. He comes back to look at the part that he saw as vibrant and exciting. What did he see?

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  • He saw fruit trees.
  • The trees had leaves that wouldn’t wither.
  • The trees produced fruit every month without fail.

Why would there be so much abundance? Why so much life. Because the river that flowed from God’s sanctuary, from His presence, flowed to them.

What was the abundance for? Was it simply pretty to look at? No, of course not. Ezekiel tells us two important things about those trees.

  • The fruit was for food.
  • The leaves were for healing.

So it is with the abundant life that God desires to give to us. When His River of Life touches our lives, we live abundantly. We will produce fruit. We can’t help it, because the River of Life brings life.

Is God’s River of Life flowing through and into your life, producing fruit? Is the fruit God is growing in your life being used to nourish others? Is your life being used to bring healing to others? Or are you mostly just enjoying the fruit for yourself?

The life God gives is not just for our own enjoyment. It is intended to be used for the nourishment and healing of those around us. Let’s not hold back.

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Time for Reflection
  • Ask God to open your eyes and see how He wants you to use the “fruit” and “leaves” He is producing in your life.
  • Does He bring someone specific to mind?
  • How does He want you reach out to this person who needs nourishment and healing?
  • Commit to sharing some of the abundance of the heart that God gives you with the person He brought to mind.


  1. Finding ways to make the fruit appealing to non-fruit eaters is my conundrum. Some people are suffering from spiritual scurvy, but won't touch fruit...

    But I'll keep offering it.

  2. That's all you can do, isn't it? The Holy Spirit grows it. We offer it. But if non-fruit eaters choose not to respond, we can't force them. Making the fruit appealing isn't always easy when they are accustomed to a diet of spiritual junk food.

  3. Thank you for this beautiful and timely article. I really needed the reminder and encouragment.

  4. Thanks for sharing. It is always nice to know who is reading. I'm glad this was an encouragement.


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