April / May 2020 - Vol. 109

tree by the stream
Thrive Where You Are Planted .

by Tom Caballes

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he
does, he prospers.
- Psalms 1:1-3 ESV
Have you ever wondered why you were born into your family, at a particular time in history, in a specific location? Sometimes I wonder how life could have been if I was born in a different family in a different culture at a different time and place. The reality is that we only have one life – we cannot think of having another one, because that would not happen. God has chosen us our portion and lot in this life. We cannot do much with what we cannot change, but God is calling us to thrive where He planted us. He has given us talents and skills to build His Kingdom. God has given us a place where we can thrive in our Christian walk – in our family, our neighbourhood, and a Christian community. Aren’t you thankful to God for what you have in life? 

So How Do You Thrive Where You Are Planted?    
  1. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13 ESV) Contentment in life enables us to love and serve here God has placed us; on the otherhand, envy, bitterness, and discontent can rob us of our peace and joy in life. Choose to be content.
  2. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10B ESV) Live the fullness of life where Godhas placed you. A life lived with God is an abundant life. And the fullness of that life is still to come.
  3. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, forapart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 ESV) Bearing fruit in life depends on our connection with God. Apart from God, our life has no real value, meaning, and purpose. Be faithful to daily prayer and Scripture.
  4. Strive for excellence wherever God has placed you at work and in the community. So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV) Do not compromise a substandard job or service – serve and work as if Christ is the one you are serving and working for.
  5. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.(Galatians 6:9-10 ESV) God has given us our talents and resources to serve Him and His people.
  6. 6. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so, I am sending you.” (John 20:21 ESV) Share the Gospel to whomever God has given you the opportunity to do so. We are called to be a light in this dark world and salt in this tasteless environment. Thriving in our situation means we are ready to share the Gospel to all those we meet. You are God’s ambassador wherever you are.
Other Scripture passages:
  1. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you mayproclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Peter 2:9 ESV)
  2. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33 ESV)
  3. “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those whoenter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.(Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

For personal reflection or group sharing
  • Have you appreciated where God has placed you? Or are you bitter that God did not make you richer,prettier, or born to a better family? How can you thrive better in your situation?
Tom Caballes is the National Senior Administrator and a National Coordinator of the Lamb of God, a community of the Sword of the Spirit with 7 branches located throughout New Zealand. Tom also leads Kairos New Zealand, an outreach program for high school, university, and post-university aged people. 

Tom and his wife Mhel and their two daughters live in Wellington, New Zealand.


top illustration (c) by Kevin Carden
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