August 16 - The Tree of Life or the Fountain of Youth?

By David Martz

Today's Scripture: Psalms 34:11–14

Central Thought: Quality of life is found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ

    In today's world, people are flocking to companies that claim to restore youth and vitality to a society that is growing increasingly older. Everyone seems to be seeking a fountain of youth. An image of youthfulness may include one's choice of clothes, automobiles, and hair styles, yet people continue to grow old while these companies grow in wealth.

    David gave instruction about life that was probably passed down from his father, Solomon. God is concerned about our quality of life; however, quality of life doesn't involve a fountain of youth, but a tree of life. It begins with a fear (reverential respect) for God, disciplined speech, avoidance of evil, and a quest for peace. It is about attitude and
focus in life and eternity, not about external appearance.

    Let's take a closer look at these elements. Love and respect for God keeps a believer focused on eternal goals. It isn't about looking good, but about serving well. What one says springs from the heart, which is the domain of God's work in spiritual maturity. Life and youth are really issues of the heart. Departing from evil (repentance) is how believers remain unspotted from the stains of sin (think of this as sun damage and wrinkling). Finally, seek peace which keeps the soul at rest and keeps anxiety in check. As research has shown, anxiety is a major factor in premature aging.

    Still seeking the fountain of life? Try seeking the Tree of Life, Jesus Christ, who can rejuvenate not only your body (we will one day be transformed) but also your emotions, intellect, and most important of all, your soul.

Devotional Prayer: Father, help us to understand that life flows from You, as You are its source. Help us to seek the values and objectives in life that are really important in light of eternity. In Jesus' name, amen.

Today's Bible Reading: Nehemiah 11:1–12:26; 1 Corinthians 10:14–11:2; Psalm 34:11–22; Proverbs 21:14–16