Monday, December 18, 2017

The Ever-Popular Relish Tray

September 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Today's Devotion

Traditions are an important part of family life. For our family, they include celebrations when all our six children, spouses, and slew of grandchildren gather together just to be a family.

When our family was young, we would gather at my mother-in-law’s house with extended family, and always with an amazing amount of goodies to eat including sloppy joes, macaroni and potato salads, cheese and crackers, little sausages, chips with dip, and the ever popular relish tray. Olives and pickles and more olives … oh how everyone seemed to like the green olives!

Whenever I see the children with their plates garnished with those green olives, I am reminded of Psalm 52:8 … “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God: I trust in the mercy of God for ever and ever.

Of course, the green olive comes from the green olive tree, planted, rooted, fixed, flourishing, and bearing fruit.

Do these words describe you? Are you planted, rooted, fixed, flourishing, and bearing fruit in your Christian walk? Are you firmly planted in the house of God, the place where God resides—in His presence? Have you come to trust in the mercy of God, whose mercy is forever?

It is because of His great mercy toward us that we can hope to truly be flourishing as green olive trees. His mercy grants us favor when we don’t deserve it. His mercy affords us gifts when we haven’t earned them. His mercy provides us with safety from our enemies when we are so unworthy. Without His mercy, we could never hope to abide in His presence or even be called a “green olive tree.”

Psalm 37:35 compares the wicked with a green bay tree, a tree with huge, full leaves, but which bears no “useful” fruit. Is your fruit useful or is it deceiving like the bay tree, appearing to be a flourishing tree to the natural eye, but yielding nothing worthy of God’s favor?

Examine your life today. Are you a green olive tree? Or, are you a green bay tree?

Trust in the mercy of God to firmly plant you in His presence where there is fullness of joy. He loves you and wants you to prosper, to grow, to flourish, and to bear useful fruit unto Him so that He will be glorified in your life.

The next time your family gets together and your table is spread complete with a relish tray, consider the green olives. You may find it’s a great discussion starter in a non-threatening setting which could lead to serious contemplation by those who don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Be a green olive tree; trust in God’s mercy while bearing fruit fit for the Master’s table.

Father, I pray that I can stand like David and declare that “I am like a green olive tree planted in the house of God.” Father may my life bear fruit that is pleasing to You—fruit that is useful and not deceiving. And, Lord, help me to understand the greatness of Your mercy toward me. But even more than that, Lord, help me to humbly accept Your mercy as an unmerited favor and precious gift to someone as unworthy as I. Lord, I love you and want to please you with every breath I take. Amen!

© Jan Ross
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