Jer 17:7-8 says that a man who trusts the Lord will be fruitful as a tree planted by the waters. When we think of trees planted the waters around here, we think of river bottoms. The San Antonio river bottom was home to many families of freed slaves after emancipation proclamation. They lived out of the river and off the land. The trees provided a great variety of pecans and berries. The river provided a great variety of edible fish.
The picture in Jer 17, is that we should be fruitful as a tree planted by the waters. God should be able to use us to bear much fruit regardless of the condition of the society around us. Whether they are in drought or plenty, we should not cease from yielding fruit. We should still be able to bring souls to Christ through the preaching of the gospel.
For a person to be fruitful as a tree planted by the waters:
He must delight in the law of the Lord, Ps 1:1-3. The trouble comes when we delight in so many other things rather than in the words of God. We must be particularly careful not to delight in the things the ungodly, sinners, and scornful delight in. Many Christians are receiving far too much ungodly counsel these days. And this is diminishing our ability to yield fruit. Many Christians talk more like the scornful than they do like the Lord. These are indications that we’re listening to and seeing much more in media than in the Bible. Many have lost their delight in the law of the Lord.
He must meditate in the law of the Lord day and night, Ps 1:1-3. The words of God should rest in our hearts and minds so that we are constantly musing upon them. In this way, the Lord can instantly bring to mind a passage of scripture that he wants a soul to hear in order to bring him to Christ.
He must be righteous and planted in the house of God, Ps 92:12-14. We can’t live like the devil and influence sinners to trust Christ. And we won’t be fruitful out in the world if we are not planted in a good local church. Christians may worship God in the deer blind or boat on Sunday, but they will never be fruitful for the Lord. Christians who are fruitful as a tree planted by the waters, are Christians who are consistently being nourished by the preaching and teaching of God’s words in church.
He must trust in the Lord, Jer 17:7-8. Being fruitful as a tree planted by the waters is the Lord’s work. When we trust in the Lord with all our heart, Prov 3:5-6, he directs our steps. He leads us to those to whom he wants us to witness and he guides us in exactly what to say. Winning souls is not a matter of personality or personal boldness. It is a matter of trusting in the Lord.
He must hope in the Lord, Jer 17:7-8. When we have hope, we have expectation. And we can absolutely expect God to yield fruit through his word, because it does not return void. Seed sown yields fruit in good soil in due time. We must not be weary in well doing, Gal 6:9.
Conclusion: if your desire is to be fruitful as a tree planted by the waters, then follow these five things the Lord has written in his words. Do these things faithfully.