Pray First 3 - Planted to Grow

God planted us to grow and live a strong life through prayer.

Doyle Jackson
Aug 19, 2018    40m
In this sermon Pastor Jackson Doyle reminds us that we need to pray first in all parts of our lives. Prayer grounds us and helps us deal with all that life can bring us. He explains that God planted us to grow and live a strong and fruitful life, and that nourishing our roots with the word of God helps us to continue to grow. Video recorded at Columbus, Ohio.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Doyle Jackson: 00:05 [Welcome and introductory recording plays]

Doyle Jackson: 00:27 Well, welcome to The Church Next Door. Welcome to Pray First, our series that we're doing right now. Before I jump into that, I want to tell you about something that's coming up. If you look in your worship folder, there's this black and white card and it's called Accelerate. I want to invite you to be with us in September for a series called Accelerate: Let's Ride. This is why. We want to help you get going with God in a whole new way. As you turn the corner on fall, we all have new schedules. We have new routines and everything. What if we would give you some key tools? We can give you some skills to help you grow in the Lord, to really go a little bit faster and to get a little bit more power out of your relationship with God.

Doyle Jackson: 01:12 So we're going to take five weeks. We're going to have a lot of fun things that are a part of those weekends. You already saw The Amazing Chemistry Show is going to be here for one of those weekends. I just want to tell you because of your generosity, because of your love, we are able to do [unintelligible]. But you may not be aware of this, but we are partners with a local school, Valley View, and we have done this for a year now. We try to help that school; provide resources, encouragement, and keeping them going. Just yesterday, just yesterday, we had single parents' fair here at The Church Next Door. Because of your generosity, we had 200 backpacks. Alright. And we've begun to give this...

Doyle Jackson: 01:49 Yeah, that's a yay God. That's a yay God. Some of those backpacks are going to go to Valley View. There's, there's these tubs of school supplies that are going to the teachers at Valley View this week to encourage them. Why? Because see, we believe that God's love is practical, and it impacts lives and you and I are a part of that every week here at The Church Next Door. So when when we have The Amazing Chemistry Show on Friday night, we've got buses going to bring the kids from Valley View and their families up to come to The Church Next Door and experience The Amazing Chemistry Show.

Doyle Jackson: 02:24 You don't want to miss that and then of course it's going to be here for the kids on that weekend at church because we believe that it matters. All right. You know, when I was a kid, I always looked forward to going to church, to going to small group, but my mom and dad had a small group in our home and then that grew. And then one day the group of people invited them and asked them, would you be willing to be our pastor? That happened to me at about age 14. I became a PK and this is what I want you to know about that.

Doyle Jackson: 02:50 All my life, I've had this anticipation, this excitement about being with God's people. The Bible says that if two or more gather in his name, Jesus name, that he's going to be there. And I always had this imagination that something cool, something good, something positive, something encouraging would happen, and so I look forward to small group. I look forward to church. I looked forward to being with God's people because in His presence, amazing things happen. Did you know healing comes to our lives in God's presence? When you're with God's people, He does stuff. Only God can restore your soul. Okay? There's other things that can comfort your soul, but it won't last. God's comfort lasts. It's ever lasting.

Doyle Jackson: 03:46 So what I want to invite you to do is to think about that and think who do I need to invite to Accelerate? Who needs that comfort, that encouragement? And this is what will work best. I'm just telling you from experience, alright? If you want someone to experience that, do something like this: say, hey listen, we'll pick you up, we'll pick you up. We'll swing by and pick you up and afterwards we'll go get something to eat. You can do that on Saturday night. It's super easy. All right? If you don't know, we do Saturday nights at 5:00. You come to church, you go out to dinner. You come to Sunday and then you can fight for Brunch with the rest of the people in town. All right. But, I'm just telling you if you do this, go on Saturday night and then you can get the first in line on Brunch on Sunday morning. It's just a thought. Alright? I haven't tried that yet because I'm here. Alright.

Doyle Jackson: 04:28 Well hey, if you were encouraged by the baptism and like something, something happened in you and you said, man, I need to take that step. I've been really nervous about [unintelligible]. Can I tell you? I've talked to several of the folks that got baptized today. They felt the same way, but I can tell you right now, they're like, oh man, finally I got that one. I got that one. I feel really good. God. I'm saying yes to you. My own experience was that if you want to do that, if you just take one of these cards in front of you in the pocket, you put your name, your phone number, your address, and just write on there 'I want to get wet. I want to be baptized. Uh, dunk me please', or whatever you want to write on there.

Doyle Jackson: 05:08 If you'll put that on there and if you drop it in the offering box, hand it to an usher, hand it to somebody that has a happy face on. We'll get it. Okay? We will get it because this is what I know. When you say yes to God, He always says yes to you. All right? When you say yes to God, He always says yes to you, and so don't say no. It doesn't go well. Been there, done that.

Doyle Jackson: 05:32 Alright, so let's get going. Get out your notes, get out your notes, pull them out. Get out the app. You can follow along. Who knows? Something good might happen and you want to make note of it to remember it for later. All right. Would you do me a favor? Put your hands together and welcome everybody that's watching online, alright? Welcome. Alright. And this is what I'll say to you. If you're watching online, that's awesome. But we'd love to have you. It's even more fun in the room, isn't it? It's more fun in the room. Alright, so here we go. You got your notes out.

Doyle Jackson: 06:03 We're doing pray first. This is a series, and this is Part Three of Pray First, and what you need to know in terms of the context of this is it's one of our values here at The Church Next Door. We have this saying, it goes like this. It says: pray first, ask questions later. Alright? I'm going to say: pray first. You say: ask questions later. Okay? Pray first. You say why? Why, why? Why do you say that? This is why. Because most of the time something happens in your life, something goes sideways, you find your car in the ditch, you get bad news from a phone call. Someone gives you a tweet or a text and you're like, really? Really? And you're going, well, why? Why? Don't ask why? Just say, Lord, I'm going to trust you about this. You're going to help me get out of the ditch. You're going to help me get moving again.

Doyle Jackson: 06:51 And then this is what happens. If you will learn the principle of praying first what will happen is this. Your question afterwards when you see God move will be, "God, why would you do something like that for someone like me? I'm so unworthy. Thank you, Lord. I am humbled by your goodness in my life." Don't ask the questions first. Just pray. Say Jesus, Lord, just help. It's a good prayer. Alright? Help! I've prayed it many times.

Doyle Jackson: 07:20 Okay, so three weeks ago we started this and we taught you the first principle, and that is eternity is now. That eternity, it really matters. And this is what we say. We're reading through the Psalms. One, two, psalms a day, join us. Just start reading, okay? And this is what we found when you read the psalms over and over and over and over and over again. It keeps saying God sits in eternity. God is forevermore, that God is always. And that's because God does not live according to time. God lives outside the realm of time. God lives beyond the universe.

Doyle Jackson: 07:59 Our universe is ever expanding and growing. That's what science tells us, and God sits outside of that in eternity. And when you and I pray, what you're doing is you're making instead of a transcontinental phone call, you're making a trans eternity connection with God in eternity. And when you pray, it brings a piece of eternity into your world because God says, if you will call upon my name, if you will speak to me, if you will share your heart with me.

Doyle Jackson: 08:32 What it does is it brings his world into time, okay? And it takes you and you become a part of eternity. This is why every good Christian knows this. The only way for you to have eternal life is to say a prayer. That's right. You get eternity through a prayer. You get a piece of it and you say, oh God, I am so unworthy of you. My life is so messed up, but I believe that you would send your son to help a person like me get out of the mess they're in. So Jesus, come into my heart, be my Lord and Savior from this day forward. I will follow you. And that prayer gets you eternity. That's the prayer of salvation. It's just a recognition you need him. So whenever you pray, you get to touch eternity. That's why we pray first in this place. We want to pray for us to touch eternity every day.

Doyle Jackson: 09:19 Then the second principle we taught you, and I say we because Jennifer and I taught you. I know it's better when she's up here. She's prettier. I agree. People say, pastor, why can't she preach more? She's prettier. I agree. We'll just let her preach more. Alright? She's going to come in a few weeks and help me again. Alright, so get ready. Uh, I forget what week, but I know she told me she was going to help me. Alright. But, I get lost when I talk about my beautiful wife. alright. Forgive me. Let me give you four principals. Hey, she's had that impact on me for a long time now. Alright, focus. Focus, please. Get with me.

Doyle Jackson: 09:55 Four principles for connecting with God. Number one, you have to be still. Be still. Take a quiet time. We recommended 30 minutes and you said, oh my, I can't sit still that long. I'm ADHD, ADD, DDDD, whatever. Alright? Sit still. Sit still with God.

Doyle Jackson: 10:10 And then secondly we said, if you'll just be sincere. Be honest with God. God I'm not perfect.

Doyle Jackson: 10:16 And then finally, keep it simple. You don't need these and thous and wherefores and no, no. If you don't speak Elizabeth in English when you're talking to people on the street, you don't need to use that for God. Alright? And then finally, you have to believe. Alright. That's how you make a good connection with God. Because in this place we pray first. We ask questions later because we believe if every day we'll spend that time with God.

Doyle Jackson: 10:38 Now, principle three, this is today. This is you're planted to grow. Listen, you do not plant flowers in your garden for them to die. You do not put rosebushes in your garden for them to die. You do not plant trees for them to die. Everything that gets planted, you plant it because you want it to grow and the Bible repeatedly talks about this. But in the Psalms, this why we're reading through the Psalms. God says that you were a tree. God says that you are a tree planted in his house.

Doyle Jackson: 11:12 The reason that you and I gathered today, the reason we come to church is because we want to be in the presence of God. When you walk in, when you come in, we have this drive through so that if it's raining we can let you out and you can get in. When you walk in those glass doors, if you'll look up as the arch comes up, you look on the wall right there. It says, my house shall be a house of prayer. That's because this is the value in this place.

Doyle Jackson: 11:34 Jesus said that he was quoting Isaiah the prophet seven or 50 years before he was born. He said, when my people gather, it will be a house of prayer. And so the reason that you and I come to church, the reason we gather with God's people is because we believe that there is power in the presence of God. When we worship God, when we speak to God, when we pray to God, when we connect with that eternal forever God, it brings some of eternity into our life. And it gives us hope and love and life to live. Okay? And that's why we do this. And the reason you gather with God is because it helps you grow. It's like watering or fertilizing a tree. It gives you growth. It does that for your soil. It's a powerful principle and we want you to know that's why people gather. We don't do it to check off a list that we've been a good religious person. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. Listen folks, I do not eat, I do not eat because it's something I have to do. I do it because it feeds my life and gives me strength and energy, and I come to be with you because it feeds my body, my soul, and my spirit to live in God's presence.

Doyle Jackson: 12:31 So let's go and get your notes out. Psalm one is where it all starts. It's one of my favorite psalms. He says this, He says, if you want the blessed life, you have a choice to make. He says, you can hang out with the wicked or you can choose to be blessed. He says that the blessed person meditates on God's word. He hangs out with godly people. And he avoids evil. And he says, if you do that, you will be a tree, a growing tree. This is from the passion translation. It speaks of the tree of life.

Doyle Jackson: 13:27 Psalm 1:3, it says, they, the blessed people will be standing firm like a flourishing tree, planted by God's design, deeply rooted by the brooks of bliss, bearing fruit in every season of their lives. They are never dry, never fainting, ever blessed, ever prosperous. Ever prosperous.

Doyle Jackson: 13:50 Do you want to be growing in every season of your life? Do you want to just constantly experience God's presence? Then you have to be willing to choose to give up that old way and say, okay, the word right here planted in the Hebrew actually can also be transplanted. Why is that? Because my life used to be dry. My life was in a dry place. I was in a place where I didn't have the best light. It was, it was. There were more darkness than there was light and then God took me. He picked me up, he picked me. You know, you go to the nursery, right? And you pick out a tree. You're walking through and say, oh, I like that one. Then you carry it home and you work about six hours to dig the hole and get it planted. You know what I'm saying? I think of all the work God did to get me moved from where I was to where I am. Thank you father. Thank you. Father. You've been good to me.

Doyle Jackson: 14:49 You're a tree transplanted, and God wants you to be fruitful. God has always used trees to teach us about life. Always. You look at it, the scripture again and again. Genesis, the tree has a knowledge of good and evil. God is always there. There's another tree in Revelation. I don't have time unless you stay all afternoon. I can talk about the trees throughout scripture. You are meant to be a tree.

Doyle Jackson: 15:13 When I was a little kid, I had a great life. I had a wonderful life on the farm in Tennessee. I was blessed. Jennifer says I was spoiled. I say I was blessed, and she would be right and I'd be right, okay? On this farm we had 26 acres and we had this creek. We still have it. Mom and dad still live there. It has this creek that flows through it. A fresh spring that feeds it. It just wanders through the farm. And I had three tree houses. Now be clear on this. My idea of a tree house. My idea of a tree house was a one by ten board that went across two branches. They may be wrapped with a wire to hold it on there or a nail in it, you know, or some nails and some boards going up the tree so I could get up to where the limbs were. But, I had three of these, one on the back of the property, one of the west side, one on the east side. I can still see them right now, okay? And I would crawl up in this tree and I would look around and I could watch the area around me.

Doyle Jackson: 16:16 And see, I believe this is why God wants you and I to think about your life in terms of a tree. Because God wants you to think in terms of what if my life were consistent? Not blowing with the wind and ever moving, but I was just moved and I totally committed to God's way. See, that's what this baptism was about today. They're, they're saying, okay, God, I'm trusting you to plant me where I need to grow. Okay. See what I loved about the tree, the reason I would climb up there 15, 20 feet is I could just see up in the tree. Everything looks a little bit different. The things that look so big here, so small up there, they're not so significant. And see, God wants you to step away from your life for a moment and just say, okay, God, give me a bit of your perspective, help me look at my life from your perspective because see, God looks at your life from maternity, doesn't He? God sees your life outside of time and He sees your life is so much more important. And He says, if you'll just relax on this one. And what God is inviting you and I to, what He says is this, He says, listen, I meant you to grow. I meant you to flourish. I want you to be fruitful in every season of your life, and if you will just pray. If you'll just talk to me, if you'll pray first, quit asking all your questions. Let me let me give you some answers. That's what I have for you.

Doyle Jackson: 17:54 That's what God wants to do. So, I want to teach you today the key to spiritual growth, the key to being a transplanted tree by God in His house all the time. Over and over again, it says in the scripture, let us go to the house of our God. Let us worship Him in the splendor of His Holiness. Oh, if I could just be a sparrow that nested in the House of God to be there all the time. This is what the psalmist says. Let's go up to Zion. Let's go up to Zion. Let's go up to Zion. See God keeps paying it and he says, if you can, if you can begin to....

Doyle Jackson: 18:40 You remember what it was like to go to granny's? My Grandma is in Heaven today, but I can still smell her when I would put my arms around her and give her a hug. God wants you to know what it smells like in His presence so that you can just say, oh I can't, I've got to get up and go to church. I've got to get up. I've got to be with God's people. I need the joy that they have. I need to be around them, and when you come and you come with a joyful heart, you need to know you're coming so some people can have the overflow in your life.

Doyle Jackson: 19:16 These are the keys. These are the keys. This is from Psalm 86:11-12. It says, teach me your ways, Oh Lord and I will walk in your truth. Give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God with all my heart, I will glorify your name forever.

Doyle Jackson: 19:34 Here are the keys. Number one, he says, teach me, and I will listen. Say, listen. What that means is God says, I will teach you and the psalmist is saying, God, if you will teach me. That's why you pray. When you pray, you say, Lord, I'm here because I need you to teach me. I'm here at Church today God, because I need you to teach me. Speak into my life. That's why we ask you to take notes because who knows? God might speak. It might not be through me. It might be through Sam. It might be through one of the other many people and it might be through a greeter. When Jesus' Mama and daddy brought him to be dedicated, it was through Anna and Simeon that they spoke into their life. I come to church every week expecting God is going to speak into my life. I don't know who it's going to be. I don't know who it's going to be.

Doyle Jackson: 20:28 Number two, it says, I can walk. This is taking ownership. God, if you'll speak to me, if you will teach me, I will listen. I can walk that out, and that means I will obey. I will obey. Now, this is what it means. When it says that I'm going to listen when you tell me what to do, I'm going to listen to what you said and I'm going to obey that. And to walk out it means you're to take it to every area of your life. That means we're going to take it to school, we're going to take it to work. We're going to take it into our marriage. We're going to take it into whatever place you go to. You're going to take the things that God is teaching you in your life. You're going to walk it out in that area of your life.

Doyle Jackson: 21:04 Number three, he says, give me, give me an undivided heart. God, if you will, help me just to trust you and not to think that my way is more important than your way. God, if you'll help me, give me a singular focus, help me to always see your way. If you'll teach that to me and you'll help me focus in on that, I'll abandon my way and I will be loyal to you. I will be loyal. I will be loyal. God, I will be faithful in season and out. You're going to be faithful to me in season and out. I want to be faithful to you in every season of my life. And when that happens, God, I want you to know this. I can praise. I have the ability to praise. I have lips, I have hands, I have a heart, and I will give God the glory. I will give you the glory. I will give God the glory. See, this is what happens to us. This is what happens to us. We're praying. We're seeking God. Oh God, I need a new job. God, I need a new job. God, I need a new job. God, I need a new job. You get a new job, and then what happens is someone says, hey, I hear you've got a new job here. Yeah, I worked so hard for that.

Doyle Jackson: 22:04 What if we were to say something like this? Say, you know, I've worked really hard for the job, but I know without God's help I would've never gotten it. Or, maybe the person isn't ready for you to say something like that. You say something like [unintelligible] you know, I do have a good job, a new job. It's a good job. God's blessed me. I'm thankful for that. Now when you put that little bit of God's blessed me in there, it's like putting one of them, one of them push plates on a door that says, I'm giving you permission to push on that. Whenever you tell somebody and you give them just a little bit of nugget of truth about what God is doing in life, you're giving them given a push, and if they push on that a little bit, then you listen.

Doyle Jackson: 22:43 This is why some of you are old enough, you're going to go to a high school reunion one day. Some of you still ain't old enough yet. I get it. It's okay. But when you go to that high school reunion, they're gonna say, wow, he's got an amazing life going on. You give them a push plate. Say, yes, I do. I'm so thankful. The hard work has paid off, but you know I couldn't have done it without some help from the Lord. You're leaving a push plate there. Why? Because they need Jesus the way you needed Jesus and you've got to give them the open door to the cure for your heart and you let them push on it and then you be ready. Be Ready. Give them a three minute answer. Please do not preach for them for 30 minutes. That's my job.

Doyle Jackson: 23:27 Alright, listen, when you go through this list of of listen, obey, loyal, and give God the glory, just look at that for just a second. Look at your paper, and I want you to answer this question for me. Which one of them comes the most natural for you? This is a self-evaluation. Oh, it's easy for me to listen, or I'm just an obedient person. See what I'm saying? Put a little star next to that one. Now go back through the list and tell me this. Which one of them is "oh man, that one is hard for me?" Put a frowny face next to that one. Now, this is why. This is why I want you to do that. Let's say, let's just say perchance obedience is hard and you got a frowny face next to that. When you go to connect with God, when you go to sit down and have your quiet time, that's the Holy Spirit prompting you and you say, God, I got to talk to you about something. I hear you speaking, but there's a rebel inside of me. Would you forgive me? Because I need to learn how to be obedient to you. Jesus, I don't know how. I don't know how you carried that cross, but you said if if I would take up my cross, you would help me.

Doyle Jackson: 24:54 See, that's the principle. That's the principle. That's how we're working on this. We're working on this because we want God to help us in every area of our life. Okay? The reason you go through and you do that self-evaluation is that you go in your time away. See the reason we gather with God's people. We're talking to one another. We're in the house of the Lord and you're chatting before and after church. You're hanging out in that extra time. The reason you're doing that is you're like, oh man, he was hammering me today.

Doyle Jackson: 25:28 Jennifer and I were in Target, you know, we're getting what, I don't know. She said it was necessary, but we were getting some stuff in Target and we ran into one of you and this young lady came up, and she said, "I just want to say thank you. It seems like every week you're like, preaching to us. It's like you guys are spying on us."

Doyle Jackson: 25:49 And I said, "No, that's Google's job, not mine."

Doyle Jackson: 25:54 If we get it right, it's just the grace of God and the Holy Spirit. You know what I'm saying? But this is why. What I'm telling you is this. Generally what God is working out in my life, He's working out in your life because we live in community. We're in the same time and space, and eternity is trying to reach all of us. Okay? God is trying to reach all of us. And the reason you gather with one another to share and do life, whether it's in small groups or here, is so that we can rub off those rough edges and we can be smoother and more reflective of Jesus and more able to share his hope and his life and his love with other people. Look what I wrote in here, it's helpful. It says the further we go in our relationship with God, we become more open to God's ways and the fewer options there are.

Doyle Jackson: 26:45 The further I've gone to my relationship with God, He showed me things that I really don't need in my life that I thought I needed before. And, I'm just telling you this ahead of time so you'll know. If you're worried about you making the decisions and you being in control, it's probably better if you can just relax a little bit and say to God, I trust you. So here's a little prayer that I like to use. It says, Jesus, I let go of my claims on my own rights and affections. Affections are my wants, my desires, my loves, the me part. And I want nothing that conflicts with loyalty to you.

Doyle Jackson: 27:25 Let's just say that prayer aloud. Anybody who wants to say it, since we got it on the table, right? Jesus, I let go of my claims on my own rights and affections. I want nothing that conflicts with loyalty to you.

Doyle Jackson: 27:34 Now I give you permission to pray that prayer as much as you want to. All right? If that ministers to your soul and your spirit where you are, you take that note home. You circle that, and you put that in your Bible for the weed and you you just pray it every day if that's where you're at. Okay? See, the attitude is surrender to God's love. I've learned over time that I believe that what God wants for my life is better than what I have always wanted. And so, I'm just learning to abandon listening to Doyle's agenda and say, okay, God, what do you got on the agenda for today? And this is the principal. If I will accept His love and let Him plant me in the presence of His people in His presence, it will be good for me.

Doyle Jackson: 28:24 It's so interesting to me that God wants you and I to view our life as a tree that's planted in the house of God. Why is that? God sees that if His people will gather and worship Him, it's good for them, but it's also good for the nations. You realize that the tent of meeting in the Old Testament and the temple in Jerusalem, that those are the same. It's where the people gather to worship God. It was the house of God, it was the place of prayer, it was the presence of God. And in that worship He always allowed the nations to come just to view it, the court of the gentiles, the people from around the world because God has always wanted guests. He's always wanted more and more people to come into His presence and experience. And so the reason you and I come to worship is to be a testimony to the world, but also to be transformed in His presence. Because when you're there, you realize, oh man, when I see brother and sister so and so, I want to be more like them because I see they've gotten closer to God than I have. Thank you, Lord. I can be rid of a few more things. I can get rid of my [unintelligible]. That's what it's about.

Doyle Jackson: 29:37 Now listen to the picture that's painted in Psalm 92. It's just a desire. That's why I said when I was a kid, I always desired to go to church. I always wanted to be around. I knew I was going to see something cool. You know? The righteous will flourish like a palm tree that will grow like a cedar of Lebanon, planted in the house of the Lord. They will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age. Say amen. They will stay fresh and green proclaiming the Lord Is Upright. He is my rock and there is no wicked in Him. See, it glorifies God. When you and I come into His presence, it glorifies God. When we gather in His name, it glorifies God.

Doyle Jackson: 30:27 When we pray and we worship and we sing him, when we bring offerings, when we celebrate His goodness, it glorifies God and that's what we were created for. And it does it in a special way when we gather with God's people, so we we lean into that. We look forward to it. That's why we say our mission is to move people closer to God, because when we get close to God and we bring other people along with us on the journey, it changes us. It transforms us. There are three things about the tree that is mentioned here that I want you to take home with you today in your heart, and it's why we want to gather in God's house. It's why we want to pray first in our life. The first one, he talks about palm trees. Palm trees are majestic. They're majestic. They have a fruitful crown. A palm tree.

Doyle Jackson: 31:16 Why is it when you always go on vacation they have palm trees there? Because there's something majestic, a royal about it. There's something that's special. It just makes you feel, oh wow, I'm special. I'm in a special place. And see, God wants you to be a palm tree. God wants you to be a palm tree. He wants me to be a palm tree that's flexible in life's winds, but also that's fruitful. Their crowned with fruit. The fruit of a palm tree is at the top so that everybody around can see it. And when you and I are a palm tree like that, God says, if you will allow me to take you, you'll be fruitful in every season. Listen, I've had apple trees. I've had pear trees. I've had peach trees. I can't remember all the different trees I've had, okay? But they're only fruitful in a season.

Doyle Jackson: 32:04 God says, you will be fruitful in season and out, at all times if you allow God. That means even in the winter, even in the winter, you can be fruitful. Why? But where you gotta go? I gotta be with God's people and plant it in his house. God wants you to be fruitful. God wants you to be fruitful. That's what the palm tree is about, but you've got to be willing to be consistent, obedient, loyal, listening, glorifying God.

Doyle Jackson: 32:30 The second tree he compares us to is He says, you will be like a cedar tree. A Cedar tree is magnificent and strong. The Cedar Trees. David, before David handed over the reins to his son, Solomon, he got everything ready for the temple. God said, you can't build a temple, but your son can. So he had the blueprints drawn up. He hired the construction team. He had all the wiring diagram set out. He got all the materials ready, and one of the things he brought was cedars from Lebanon. Why? Because those are worthy. Those are worthy of God. They're strong to carry the load. They are beautiful.

Doyle Jackson: 33:06 Why do we go to California to see the great redwoods? Because they're majestic. God wants you to be something of a spectacle, pointing people to Him. He wants you to be that kind of tree. He wants you to be something that other [unintelligible]. If you need strength in your life, you go to the house of the Lord. You seek His face, you praise Him, you worship Him. That's how you get it. When God says, when you're transplanted [unintelligible], 'll begin to work around the soil of your life. I'm going to provide everything that you need for you to be strong. You say, I'm so tired. Let's go to the house of the Lord.

Doyle Jackson: 33:42 You say, Oh man, I need. I need to bear some fruit. Let's go to the house of the Lord. Let's pray first. Well, you know, I'm going to the doctor today. What am I going to do? We're going to pray first. I got a big test today in school. What are we going to do? We're going to pray first. See, because we understand that it's that connection with God that makes us fruitful.

Doyle Jackson: 34:04 The last, the last tree that's mentioned in this verse and it's implied is what I call the old tree. The tree of maturity and righteousness. See the most, the reason we go to look at the redwood trees and we're like, wow, how did something live that long? The reason we look at old trees we're like, that's what I want to be. I want to be lasting. I want to be going. And see, that's what righteousness is. The only way....

Doyle Jackson: 34:31 What righteousness really means is right living. Righteousness means I'm living according to God's ways. I'm living rightly. Now, I need to be honest with you. For most of my life that was not attractive. And for most of us, we really are like, oh, I don't know that I want to be righteous. I don't know what that means. It kind of [unintelligible]. It doesn't look like fun. But see the reason you and I gather with God's people in His presence is we can see. Oh well, if that's what righteousness is, that's what I want to be. That's why when they brought Jesus into the house of the Lord to present Him to God, to dedicate him and they run into Anna and Simeon, they're seeing two old righteous trees, and they brought their blessing in and they poured it out on Him. And the reason you and I bring our children to church, the reason we come to church is the old righteousness, the old growth, strong trees of righteousness are there and they bless those children. And they pour out into their lives and they're like, okay, I want to live according to the Kingdom of God.

Doyle Jackson: 35:43 See, you've got to give them a picture. You've got to give them a painting of what? Righteousness. Righteousness is not attractive in verbs, in words, in platitudes. Righteousness is beautiful when it comes out of a life that is connected to eternity. See, let me tell you something. When your roots grow deep into the house of the Lord, it connects to eternity in God's presence and it feeds your life all the time. All I want to do, I want to be a sparrow that has a nest in the house of the Lord. It's better to be a doorkeeper, a greater in the house of the Lord than it is to dwell in the tents of the wicked. It brings greater peace and life and joy. It feeds me. It sustains me. It causes me to grow. And see, that's what it is about righteousness. And it's not attractive in its first view, and that's why you gotta come. You gotta come to the gathering of God's people and you've got to watch it. And you'll see the phonies, but you'll see the true old growth, long-term commitment year after year, feeding on the goodness of God.

Doyle Jackson: 36:54 See, when we're young, we think, ah, I'll get that later. I'm busy. No. If you want to be a palm tree, a cedar tree, an old growth tree, it takes that loyalty and that commitment and gathering with God's people, and he will restore your soul.

Doyle Jackson: 37:17 This is what I wrote in your notes. It says, God invites us to be planted in the house of the Lord. God says, if you're willing to commit to my house and ways, you will flourish. Our faithfulness produces or it mirrors God's faithfulness in our life. This is what happens to me. I come to the house of the Lord and it helps me make a decision to say, God, it's not about what I want. It's not about what I need. It's not about what's on my agenda and God, it's about you. I can see in your presence that it's about you. You say, yeah, but I'm just one person and I don't matter. It's not what Jesus said. Jesus said that when the good shepherd looked over and he saw that one was missing, he said, that's not good. Hmm.

Doyle Jackson: 38:10 See, God has always wanted to gather all His people together in His presence. There is something about celebrating him, and when we pray together, God moves. That's why every week we pray together. I don't know if you've noticed that. We pray together. Here's our prayer this week. It says, Lord, I want to be consistent, loyal, and faithful. Help me to see the ways my presence is important to your house. I want to be fruitful and strong in every season of life. I commit myself to you and worshiping you, and I want your righteous blessing. Now, before we say that prayer, let me ask you a question.

Doyle Jackson: 38:55 How much of God's presence is enough? How much will satisfy what you need? Let me put it another way. What would say satiate your hunger for God? That's what that blank is about. That's not for me, that's for you and the Lord, and you just write it down. Say, Lord, I want to start this much. I'm going to spend this much time with you in a quiet time. God, I'm going to come to church this often, how many times a month, or I'm going to go to small group and you write that down. Why? Because if you will tell Him that I hear you, Lord, I hear you, Lord. I'm going to obey. I'm going to be obedient and I will give you the glory. That's what it's about.

Doyle Jackson: 39:47 If you're ready to say the prayer, let's stand. I give you permission to hold your neighbor's hand. Okay? We're holding hands in church, honey. Let's do it. Alright. We're going to say it together. Are you ready? Here we go. Lord, I want to be consistent, loyal, and faithful. Help me to see the ways my presence is important to your house. I want to be fruitful and strong, and every season of life I commit myself to you and worshiping you. I want your righteous blessing. Amen. Amen.

Doyle Jackson: 40:25 [Departure recording plays]

Recorded in Columbus, Ohio.
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