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MORPH

MORPH – Week 3, Wednesday

TODAY'S READING

The Spirit of the Lord is on me….He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…..to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion….the oil of gladness, instead of mourning, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
(Isaiah 63:1-3)

Wednesday, January 27

Many of you know I’m an Austin native. On Baylor Avenue between 5th and 6th streets in downtown Austin there is a 600 year old Live Oak Tree called the Treaty Oak. It’s thought this tree stood as a witness to a treaty between Indians and a band of settlers among whom was Stephen F. Austin himself. The city has treasured the tree. One of the first historical markers in the city was assigned to the Treaty Oak.

In 1989, someone poured an entire drum of powerful herbicide at its base, which basically worked as poison. The poison when to work on the inside of the tree for the most part and it wasn’t until later that its effects began to show for all to see. When the effects did show, the city sprang into action. A massive multi-year plan was rolled out. Soil was treated, neutralized, and replaced. The tree was pruned and fed. In the end, experts called it nothing short of a miracle that it was not only preserved but began to grow again. Today it continues to stand and flourish in the heart of Austin.
Isaiah speaks of the results of the Messiah’s work in our lives. We become “oaks of righteousness.” But there are times when our soil gets poisoned. The poison could be in the form of discouragement, temptation, lies from the enemy, etc. It’s not always easy to see immediately. We subtly begin to deteriorate from the inside-out.
The good news is -“He is the God who gives life to the dead.” (Romans 4:17)

In being honest enough to acknowledge the fruit that’s dead in our lives, in lifting up our dead limbs and poisoned roots,God can restore us as a “live oak” of righteousness. We can again be a witness. And He often uses a community of people in the course of our restoration process.

Let Him work the soil of your heart.

Allow a few of His people to join in the process.

Flourish again.

Grace and peace,

Chris

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