Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11
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Seeds of the Kingdom

Dead or Alive?

by Peter Brokaar

And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.”’
Revelation 3:1-2, ESV

As I have probably mentioned before, we still have many trees down on our property, following last winter’s storms. We have been busy clearing the walking paths so that our grounds can be accessed and enjoyed. This month, when I was busy clearing a path in an area where quite a few large tree limbs and uprooted trees were blocking the way, God reminded me of the scripture for today.

Amazingly, these fallen trees were all growing, and at first glance they looked quite healthy. There were new leaves, blossoms, and fresh growth everywhere. Judging by those signs, these uprooted trees and broken off limbs seemed in excellent health. But, of course, I knew better. All the uprooted trees had lost connection with the rich soil they had grown strong in. The broken off limbs were disconnected from the trunk which gave them life. All of them will face certain death in coming years. I felt a sadness inside that something which looked so alive could, in fact, be so dead.

Jesus explained our relationship with God in terms of vines and branches and He didn’t mince His words. If you (a branch) get disconnected from the vine (Jesus), you wither and die. But what a startling realisation that this death is not always instantaneously visible!

We should not depend on yesterday’s experiences, yesterday’s provision, or yesterday’s anointing. But the problem is that we feel we can get away with that. It is possible to look good on the outside, even when rot has set in on the inside. It is even possible to serve God, and see results, despite having become disconnected from Him.

Romans 11:29 says that ‘the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable’. When God gives us a certain calling and gifts, these remain with us, even when we move away from Him. On the outside we can be showing signs of spiritual life, even when spiritual death has crept in on the inside. This is a scary scenario for any Christian individual or organisation.

Observing those trees, I am reminded once again not to judge how well I am doing by what’s happening externally, but by what is going on in my own relationship with God. The verses from Revelation help me see that we might be able to fool other people, or even ourselves, but we can never fool God. It is close, personal, fresh, daily fellowship with Him which is our lifeline, and nothing else can take its place.

Blairmore’s uprooted trees and broken off limbs have no chance of ever being restored. But thankfully there is always hope of restoration for us. When we find we have become disconnected from Jesus, we can, and should, always run immediately back to Him.

Peter Brokaar is Director of Ellel Ministries Scotland and has been there together with his wife Liz since 2005. They have 3 kids, all born in Scotland! In his free time he likes reading, cooking, running and surfing. Being at Ellel Scotland has given him the privilege of getting to know God deeper and sharing that joy with many others.

 

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