December 26, 2023

December 26, 2023

Daily Bible Reading

To prevent the frustration of falling behind, which most of us tend to do when following a Bible reading plan, each month of this plan gives you only twenty-five readings. Today we start a few “free days” . We encourage you to catch up on any readings you may have missed this month.

If you have finished the month’s readings, you can use these final days of the month to study the passages that challenged or intrigued you.

Daily Devotion

The Tree of Life 

Revelation 22: 1-2 “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”

The tree of life is seen here at the end of the Bible just like it appeared at the beginning. 

Genesis 2:9 “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

After Adam & Eve sinned and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were driven from paradise and not allowed to eat from the tree of life again. Now we see this tree reappear at the end of the book. Enduring Word Commentary states, “Seeing the tree of life again points to a restoration of all things.”

But what about the pages written between Genesis and Revelation? 

Interestingly I found this phrase “tree of life” mentioned 4 times in the book of Proverbs. In these verses it isn’t referring to THE tree of life, but A tree of life. Since we are in-between Genesis and Revelation, waiting for that day when we can eat from THE tree of life, what can we do to help us be one of those with the “…right to the tree of life…” as we “…enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14)?

A tree of life is:

  1. Wisdom: Proverbs 3:18 NLT “Wisdom is a tree of life to those who embrace her; happy are those who hold her tightly.”
  2. Fruit of righteousness: Proverbs 11:30 AMP “The fruit of the [consistently] righteous is a tree of life, And he who is wise captures and wins souls [for God—he gathers them for eternity].”
  3. Hope fulfilled: Proverbs 13:12 NLT “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.”
  4. A wholesome tongue: Proverbs 15:4 AMP “A soothing tongue [speaking words that build up and encourage] is a tree of life, But a perversive tongue [speaking words that overwhelm and depress] crushes the spirit.”

As I look toward the new year these four points are great goals to have for 2024. Thankfully the scripture tells us if we lack wisdom, we just have to ASK (James 1:5). The fruit that comes from living a righteous life is others wanting what we have! What dreams do I have? I can’t wait to see some of them fulfilled in 2024. Lord, “let the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be acceptable unto You …” (Psalm 19:14). I want to be an encourager in 2024!

I can’t wait to eat from the fruit of the tree of life when we get over yonder. But until then, I will work hard to be a tree of life to those around me by sharing wisdom, righteousness, hope, and kindness God has given to me.

~Sarah Seagraves