Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Without Christ

“I am the vine, you are the branches; He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5)

Beware of the church termite that eats through the church, always busy, but not abiding in the Word of God and not building up the body of Christ. Church termites believe everything is about the physical building and the accomplishments of the past. Termites do not understand that the church is not about the building and that to be Christian is not about being busy. Being Christian is about being in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, a branch abiding in the Vine.

There are three ways to be a useless branch, possibly more, but three that come readily to mind. First, you can refuse to listen to Christ. This is epidemic within the church, as people claiming to be Christian do not remain in the Word of God or in a constant dialogue with God. That's right; I said "dialogue." Pray is not about us telling God what He needs to do for you, it is about having an honest conversation between God and you. As a teenager, I made a call on a friend's kitchen telephone. Beside the phone, posted on the wall, was a little saying I have never forgotten. It read, “If man was meant to talk more than he was meant to listen, God would have given him two mouths and only one ear.”

Second, branches can give lip service to Jesus, but not actual service. We have many in our pulpits today that talk the talk but do not walk the walk. Jesus exampled what it means to be a shepherd by walking the walk. We need Pastors that will walk the walk.

Third, branches can be useless by accepting Christ and then abandoning Him. May I be so bold as to suggest that if you are not bearing a good crop of the fruits of the spirit, you have likely abandoned Him. Beware of the Viticulturist who walks the vineyard with His pruning shears in hand – snip.

No comments: