Some of the Scriptures we return to in this study have recurred throughout our meditations on fruitfulness for good reason. They illustrate beautifully the importance of our hearts and lives being rooted in God’s Word and God’s Spirit. It is by his Word and Spirit that God created everything and by which he sustains everything. And we really cannot have the one without the other. That is why we see that, in Psalm 1, those who meditate on God’s word day and night are like trees ‘planted along the riverbank’. The river, of course, speaks of the life of the Spirit. The Word leads us to the Spirit and the Spirit always leads us back to the life-giving truth of God’s Word. Both are key to our fruitfulness.

Key Passages

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do. (Psalm 1:1-3, NLT)

It had been planted in good soil by abundant water so that it would produce branches, bear fruit and become a splendid vine.” (Ezekiel 17:8)

[This is about a worldly kingdom that God uproots but it nevertheless shows the principle of what needs to happen for any kingdom to be fruitful – planted in good soil and by abundant waters!]

Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard[b]
    planted by the water;
it was fruitful and full of branches
    because of abundant water.
11 Its branches were strong,
    fit for a ruler’s sceptre.
It towered high
    above the thick foliage,
conspicuous for its height
    and for its many branches. (Ezekiel 19:10-11)

[This is about Israel who then rebels and is uprooted but, once again, it reveals the important principle of fruitfulness – that we are planted by water].

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
    whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
    that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
    its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
    and never fails to bear fruit.’ (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Other Bible Readings: Mark 4:3-20; Ezekiel 47:12; Gal.5:22’ John 5:37-40

Questions for Reflection and Application

  1. What are the promises for those who are ‘planted by water’?
  2. What might being planted by water look like for us practically – both as individuals and as a church family?
  3. How does the Word lead us to the Spirit and the Spirit to the Word?
  4. How can we make sure that God’s Word takes root in the soil of our lives and that those roots go down to the stream of his Spirit?

Further Reading

Read either the Gospel of John or 1 John, depending on how much time you have, and how he reveals the importance of both Word and Spirit in his writing.

There is a PDF version of this Study here.