Vol. 5, No. 4
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The palm tree grows slowly, but steadily, from century to century. It is not influenced by seasons which affect other trees. It flourishes whether it has a lot of rain or whether it gets little. It tends to grow straight even if weights are tied to it. The winds do not make it grow crooked. The palm tree will continue to produce fruit even when very old.
It was a custom in many of the societies of ancient times to plant palm trees in important places. Because they were considered beautiful and the fact that they lived so long they were planted in most palaces and in the courtyards of temples. Solomon even covered the walls of the Holy of Holies with carved palm trees.
In Psalm 92:12-13, we read, "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God." The psalmist is saying that those who follow God will be like the palm tree. They will grow and be fruitful in the courtyard of God.
I want to be like the palm tree. I know you do too. You must read your Bible. You must study it and obey what God wants you to do. It is then that you will be like that tall and strong palm tree. You will be well planted in the court of the Great King, God. Until next time, keep studying. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.
Many of the ancient cities took counts of their citizens. It was considered high praise to be counted as a citizen of the city. Not just anyone was allowed to become a citizen. Sometimes it required fulfilling certain strict requirements. And as a citizen of the city, one was expected to behave in a certain way. Most of the time there was a pledge that one took.
In Philippians 1:27, we read, "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel."
The phrase "let your conversation" is translated in some versions as "let your manner of life." The actual Greek word means, "to live as a citizen." Christians are citizens of the heavenly Jerusalem, the church (Hebrews 12:22-23). Not just anyone is a citizen of the church. One has to fulfill certain requirements to become a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem. Then one has to continue to live as a proper citizen.
Notice that the Gospel is connected with this citizenship. One must read, study and obey the Gospel to be a proper citizen. Then one is obeying the King of the city, the Lord. A Christian pledges to live worthy of the Gospel. When one becomes a Christian, he pledges to live like Christ. He is stating that he will have a mind like Christ.
Keep reading your Bible. Learn all you can about how to be a citizen in the heavenly Jerusalem. And if any of this is hard to understand, ask an adult to help you.