If all were a single member, where would the body be?
1 Corinthians 12:19
I was on the playground watching our girls play the other day when Elizabeth ran over and gave me the the broken stick pictured above. "Look at that!" she said as we noticed the little buds. "What will come of it?" This began a short discussion and a lingering thought. The obvious answer is not much. It is broken off of the tree. My mind was drawn to Christ's words in John 15:6 Unless a person remains united with me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, where they are burned up. I realized there was a message in this stick and referred to this passage. In short the branch needs the tree to survive. The tree sustains it's life and in the tree the branch has the ability to grow and bear fruit. Apart from the tree it is a degenerating waiting game. Sadly, most of us have seen or been that stick. People pull away from God and sin creeps in. It is hard being on the outside looking in on a person who is actively doing this. Whether it is the flash of the world or laziness that causes the separation, the result is the same. A broken disjointed life. We must stay connected. How do we do that? For starters...
1. Study God's Word. Set time aside each day to dig into His Word and see what He has to say to you. You will be blessed by it. If you don't know where to start, try a Proverb a day. After that go for a Psalm a day.
Psalm 119:105 says, Your word is a lamp for my foot
and light on my path. God's Word guides.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. God's Word protects.
2 Timothy 3:15
and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
God's Word gives us wisdom.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
All Scripture is God-breathed and is valuable for teaching the truth, convicting of sin, correcting faults and training in right living; thus anyone who belongs to God may be fully equipped for every good work. God's Word instructs.
2. Pray. Pray when you wake up. Pray before you go to sleep. Pray in between by taking opportunity like Nehemiah did and pray in the moment.
The king asked me, “What is it that you want?” I prayed to the God of heaven, then said to the king, “If it pleases the king, if your servant has won your favor, send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ tombs, so that I can rebuild it.”
Prayer is not locational or positional. It is a conversation with our Creator. If you are in Christ or wholeheartedly seeking God, He will hear you.
For what great nation is there that has God as close to them as Adonai our God is, whenever we call on him?
Praying to God is a privilege.
Therefore, openly acknowledge your sins to one another, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
There is power in prayer.
In prayer we have the opportunity to draw close to God. Share our thoughts with Him. If we listen closely, we may hear Him speak to our hearts and if we look at the world through the right lens, we will see Him work.
3. Meet Together. Brothers and sisters in Christ must Fellowship.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
“‘Work is to be done on six days; but the seventh day is a Shabbat of complete rest, a holy convocation; you are not to do any kind of work; it is a Shabbat for Adonai, even in your homes.
~a large formal assembly of people
~the action of calling people together for a large formal assembly.
God's plan for Sabbath was rest, learning and fellowship. A time of encouragement. God commands us to have the Sabbath set aside for coming together. It is His plan and so beyond contestation. Sitting at home in front of the television watching televangelists was not His plan, but has become the poisonous habit of so many since COVID. This hurts not only the individual, but the flock as well. I spoke to a brother in Christ recently who has been watching his church family dwindle since the pandemic. He is grieved. He misses his brothers and sisters. We need to be in fellowship. We need to co-labor. Every one of us has unique gifts. 1 Corinthians 12 speaks to this. In Christ we are all parts of one body. We each have a divine purpose in God's Kingdom and gifts meant to glorify God and serve His people. If you have a church you serve in, keep up the great work, but if you don't, find a local gathering of God's people and use those gifts there.
I feel as though God spoke to us through this broken branch. I hope it encourages you too. Thank you for reading and if you have any questions, comments or random thoughts, please don't hesitate to share. Iron sharpens iron.
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.