Tree of Life: Dendrology & Photosynthesis: Being a Life-giver in the Business World
Tree of Life: Guest columnist, Kevan Grinwis shares a devotional thought about using Christian principles in the workplace and shares what dendrology and photosynthesis have to do with how you run your business.
By Kevan Grinwis
Date Posted: 5/1/2014
Revelation 22.1-5 (NASB)
“Then he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. On either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and His bond-servants will serve Him; they will see His face, and His name will be on their foreheads. And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illuminate them; and they will reign forever and ever.”
I love the fact that the Bible begins and ends with the tree of life. At the very beginning, mankind was created and positioned to receive from this tree as they enjoyed life in the garden. Eventually, as mankind fell, Adam and Eve were cut off from the tree and its eternal life giving fruit. Yet, we see in the passage above from Revelation that the fulfillment of God’s redemptive purpose focuses on this tree. Every time I read this passage, it stirs up hope and a longing in my soul. The thought that there will be “no more curse” tells me that all of the brokenness that we experience everyday in this life will cease, and redemption will fully and completely have its way.
Yet, as Christ followers today, we are in a sense, caught between the “now” and the “not yet” of the kingdom of God. Jesus taught that the kingdom is “within us,” that it has “come near” us and yet He also spoke of the coming kingdom and the “age to come.” So, here and now, as ambassadors of Christ we are called to be carriers of the kingdom culture – to be change agents in the world around us, just “as if God were making His appeal through us (2 Corinthians 5:20).” Essentially, we are the present representation of the tree of life. This tree produces 12 kinds of fruit and its leaves heal the nations.
Let’s consider a couple of facts about trees…
1. Leaves produce fuel through “photosynthesis”, a process which combines water and light to make food.
2. Fruit is a result of life in the tree.
In Scripture, Jesus teaches that it is the exchange of life between Himself and the believer which produces fruit and that the fruit exists for but one purpose – the glory of God. Elsewhere in John’s Gospel, Jesus teaches that the Spirit is like a river of living water, pouring from the inner core of the believer (John 7:38). And in another place, He teaches that we, the church, are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). So, we have (1) water, (2) light, and (3) life all proceeding from God and resident in His body, the church, producing fruit for His glory and leaves for the healing of the nations.
Our lives, our words and our actions, are meant to be fruit and leaves. In business, we can be the tree of life to those around us. As we are connected to the life of Christ, with the Spirit flowing, living in the light of the Word, we have a unique opportunity to be light and life to men and women who may have no other connection to God. We can demonstrate Christ everyday and as such be a connecting point, a representation of His kingdom and His culture.
Take a moment to stop and ask yourself, “Are my words and my actions demonstrating light and life to those around me?” “Am I a living representation of the tree of life to my employees, my customers and my vendors?”
Editor’s Note: Kevan Grinwis works for Automated Machine Systems, a major supplier of pallet recycling equipment. He is also a pastor at a church in Grand Rapid, Mich. This column is designed for people in the industry to share a devotional thought that applies to Christian business leaders. Feel free to share your ideas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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