Garland Of Grace – 02.11.18


Oaks of Righteousness; A Love Letter to Seventh Street, Valentine’s Day 2018

“They will be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.” – Isaiah 61:3B

Last year on the Sunday prior to Valentine’s Day, I penned a “love letter” of sorts to the members of the church expressing my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for the Seventh Street family. I would like to do the same this year. I pray the following letter serves as an encouragement to you all during this season of love.

Dear Seventh Street Family,

It is hard to imagine, but it has been almost four years since God brought our family to Cullman, Alabama. To this day, we are continually overwhelmed by the love and kindness demonstrated to our family by our church family. We love you all so very much and we are forever grateful that the Lord in His infinite wisdom knitted our lives together with yours.

I want to draw your attention to the passage above. Here we see that the people of God are described as “oaks of righteousness.”  I think we would all agree that there is just something overwhelmingly beautiful about an oak tree. It is a tree known for its deep roots, roots which provide a firm foundation. They are trees known for their great size and strength, and are seen as giants of the forest. Their growth pattern is slow, yet their lifespan is long. They are stately trees that do not easily sway; for its branches gracefully reach up to the heavens. Even its distinctive leaf is marked with beauty, easily identifiable from the other leaves on the forest floor.

With this description in mind, I want to encourage Seventh Street to be oaks of righteousness.  Be beautifully strong, deeply rooted in the soil of God’s Word. Do not buckle under the weight of the world or the pressures of society. Continue to exemplify an unwavering commitment to the Word of God. Pursue lasting, steady growth rather than rapid, shallow growth; for God has called us to be  oaks of righteousness, not  overnight mushrooms. Also, stand firm as you branch out into our community with the gospel of God, reaching to heaven with God’s glory as your aim.  To do all of these things, we each must live a life similar to the oak leaf; separate and distinct. Oh that we would be firmly planted as oaks of righteousness in the forest of the world.

I encourage you to have a God-sized vision for what the Lord can do within our community through the ministries of Seventh Street. God has certainly surrounded us with multiple opportunities of ministry. The fields are white unto harvest, and we must be faithful in reaching people with the gospel message of Jesus Christ. As we show the love of God to the city of Cullman, we must radiate the gospel in all that we do and say. To be sure, God has intentionally brought all of us together for such a time as this (Esther 4:14), and have been strategically positioned within our community to do His will and His work. So let us glue our hands to the gospel plow and not look back (Luke 9:62)!

In closing, God has faithfully blessed Seventh Street for over 141 years.  And as long as we honor Him in all things, He will continue to do so. We must simply continue to demonstrate a spirit of humility (James 4:10) as we wait for His return. I love you all, and desire to be a pastor to you in every way possible.  If there is any specific way that I can ever minister to you and your family, do not hesitate to let me know.

Your pastor and friend,

Eric Martin


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