When I was out for a walk recently, I saw a tree which had been blown over in the storms we experienced in the UK at the start of this year. It was a big tree and the trunk had been cut, because it had been blocking the road. The roots were completely out of the ground, as it was lying horizontally. What struck me was that there were lots of small branches growing out of it, each covered in fresh green leaves.
Obviously, there were enough reserves in the trunk to bring forth this new growth and sustain it through this growing season. I wondered how long it would be before this tree was completely dead, with no fresh growth and without any external source of water and food.
Are we like that? Are we sustaining what we are doing from our own internal reserves, or are we asking God for His nourishment and sustaining love and care? Perhaps we need to ask God to show us our lives from His perspective.
This could bring a sense of fear, as we may be afraid of what He might say to us. However, we need to remember the character of God.
Psalm 145:17 says, ‘The Lord is righteous in everything He does; He is filled with kindness’.
Romans 11:6 says, ‘And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is – free and undeserved’.
Ephesians 1:7-8 says, ‘He is so rich in kindness and grace that He purchased our freedom with the blood of His Son and forgave our sins. He has showered His kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding’.
He does not want to bring condemnation, but in His love, He wants to show us where we are trying to do things in our own strength and are in danger of burning ourselves out or doing ourselves harm. Like the tree which had fallen over, it may look as if we are producing something good, but, without sustenance, it is short lived.
We need to heed Jesus’ words: “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). But remember He says this because He loves us, “I have loved you even as the Father has loved Me. Remain in My love” (verse 9). May God’s love be the source of our lives.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.