ONE MORE BRANCH TO BURN
I love leaves, especially around the Fall season. They are very beautiful and colorful. The trees are so full, radiant and alive with the leaves that grew during the summer and spring months. When Fall arrives the leaves begin to fall from the branches. As they do they loose their source of nourishment and life. Even detached from their life source the color and beauty still remains. Adults and children collect them, press them into books to save then forever as a reminder of their beauty. Even then they remain colorful and beautiful, but it's a false state of beauty. In reality the leaves are already dead. For the first few days they look alive, but in a few days they fade into dull yellows and browns. The moistness and life that was once there has now been dried up and the leaves begin to crack and break. The source of their nourishment was gone, they had become detached. The vein and branch that had carried life to them was not there any more. In time the leaves that had fallen to the ground and pressed into books would soon become just one more leaf to burn.
And so it is with the child of God. Maybe you just stopped praying, reading Gods Word or going to church as much as you used to.
Some have even stopped completely and have become detached from their source of life and nourishment. Inside they are dying, but on the outside they still look good. Still act and talk like a Christian, but their spiritual life is becoming more darkness than light. Attitudes change and crumple along with other things just as the leaves became brittle lifeless and crumpled. They are soon broken spiritually and the effects of this will soon show up on the outside. Some Christians think that they can stop doing these things and be alright. Well the leaf looked alright for the first few days because the damage caused by being detached from it's life source takes time to be manifest. The same things happen to the child of God who is no longer abiding in God's Word, abiding in Jesus.
Jesus said " I am the vine and you are the branches". Just as the branch is attached to the vine so we should be. Our nourishment comes from this vital union. The life of the vine becomes the life of the branch. "For without Me you can do nothing". Our weakness becomes His strength, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".
The Jews regarded the grape vine as the mossy noble of plants, a type of all that was powerful, excellent and fruitful. And so it is with Jesus the true vine. Through abiding in the vine we become partakers of the divine nature of Jesus. Jesus said abide in Me and bear much fruit and you shall be my disciples. To abide means to continue in Him, steadfast, unmovable and obedient no matter what. We abide in His word and make sure that His word abides in us. Study His word, meditate on it and then apply it to our lives. So we can see how important abiding daily is because if we become disconnected from the vine we will start to wither and die and thus become..."Just One More Branch To Burn".
There are branches that look like they are attached and abiding, but in reality are not. We can be outwardly united to the vine but have no spiritual connection. Religion places you in the church, but an abiding relationship with Jesus places the church in you. Religious people bear no fruit and there is no growth an they eventually wither away. But the real branches grow and bear much fruit. Theirs is a lasting eternal relationship. Jesus carefully and lovingly watches over each branch just as the gardener prunes trees and trims hedges with his knife. Jesus purges, prunes and trims away the dross in our lives through the sword of His word. Sure it causes pain because some things have been rooted for awhile, but it removes and permanently gets rid of qualities that are undesirable. All things that hinder and draw us away from bearing fruit must be pruned and purged. Then we are much richer in spirit and live the more abundant life Jesus came to give us.
God wants holiness and purity manifest through us and in us. This process as I said before is painful, but let God purge and prune you so you will Glorify your Father and be fruitful.
Elizabeth, herself, is an amazing testimony to the goodness, faithfulness, and grace of God. Please take a moment to visit her site and read her testimony for yourself. It only proves that there is nothing that the Lord can't see you through. You will be blessed by it.
"When you look at the trials that you've survived, it shows you that God enabled you to withstand the same trials that have broken others.". - Elizabeth Stewart