Monday, May 6, 2013

You are the branches

It's not the greatest photo I ever shot, but I hope you can tell what's going on. There's a detached limb hanging from the tree by its twigs. This tree stands in my neighbor's back yard.
John 15:5-6—I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. [English Standard Version]
This limb has been hanging from this tree all winter... like it doesn't know it's dead.

We had a sermon recently where the pastor quoted the movie The Sixth Sense—"I see dead people." This disturbed some of my friends. Surely our church is better than most? Surely there's no need to be so negative? Jesus is about love, right?

Yes, Jesus is about love. God IS love. And, it would not be love to withhold a hard truth—especially if that truth holds someone's eternity in the balance.

Every church has at least a few people who are like this branch. They are not abiding in Jesus—they are not attached to the tree. There is no spiritual life flowing into them. And yet they think they ARE in the tree, because they're hanging up there with the branches and not touching the ground.

Last week, a storm came through. No worse than any other storm we had over the winter. But this storm, for whatever reason, hit that branch just wrong—and down it came. Now it's dead wood lying on the ground, and someone's gonig to come chop it up and put it in their fireplace.

This is merely the final result of what's been true all winter. It's been dead all along. Dead branch hanging.

I hope no one who is reading this is a dead man/woman walking. But if you have even the tiniest inkling you might be, don't ignore it. Pray... search the scriptures... talk to a pastor. Perhaps it's only a lie of the enemy. If so, you can receive assurance. Get it settled.

If not, the miracle that's available to you is that unlike this dead branch, you CAN be grafted in.

[p.s. I hate when I publish a post and THEN realize (in the shower) that I need to edit a couple of things! *sigh*]