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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Devotional: Apples to Apples

This post is in the same vein as previous posts of mine (see Faithful To Me and also point 2 of Serious Jen is Back) This is Jen, once again, trying to breakdown something that is theologically over Jen's head. Sometimes I understand a thing better when I write it out, so this is just my brain in blog format. Please, if you read this post also read the scripture I reference. If you don't have a Bible you can look up the references on

Two apples came to mind. One was a bright red, shiny and firm apple. It was plump and I imagined it smelling very sweet. It looked so appetising. The other apple looked maroonish but it was heading quickly towards brown. I noticed visible bruises which foretold of the mushy fruit lying in wait just under the covering of skin. I imagined no sweet smell this time, but a faint bitter odor instead. Since fruit is a very biblical concept I am not surprised that this visual aid came to mind. After all, I am continually praying for spiritual fruit (Gal 5:22-23) and it would help to know what kind of fruit I am. Often, I absolutely feel like the second apple. I think God spoke to me something about this yearning for the first apple and the eventual fate of my fruity-ness. ( Though some might say I am more nutty than fruity!)

We know that those of us in Christ Jesus have already undergone a major core transplant when we heard and received the Word of God, the Gospel of Christ (Eph 1;13-14) and God Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit is sealed up in us, there to remain until we come into our full inheritance. We also know that Faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness (Romans 4:8-10) and we know that faith is they key to the door which opens our salvation (Romans 4:16-17, Phil 3:8-9) and that in faith we are Abraham's descendants and the promise applies to us as well. (Isaiah 56:1-8)

What about my bruised and brownish outside. If my core has been made solid and firm in Christ and the salvation he offers, why am I, in my opinion, still such an unappetising piece of fruit? Next came the second mental image. (John 15:1-8) One where my apple is plucked from the rotten tree and is grafted into the healthy tree. The gardener also cut out the bruises and the damaged fruit. It was painful and I looked like a mess. The gaping wholes were obvious and made me feel incomplete. Oh, how I wanted to hide my surgical pruning from everyone's eyes. I was even tempted to prefer the ugly bruisednes of my previous state to the decidedly more open and vulnerable state of pruning which I was experiencing. Worse than that, sometimes I stopped trusting the Gardener. I forgot that the holes in me were from the removal of decay. I neglected to remember how He was cleaning out my wounds so healthy fruit could grow. But it doesn't matter if I am always on the same page as the Gardener. The restoration of health is on track just the same, my fruit is changing and growing healthy with His care.

There is some sort of a link between abiding in Christ (He is the Word of God), healing, and the bearing of much fruit for our Father's glory (John 15:8) and surely as followers of Christ and imitators of Him we want to follow Christ's example and Lift up His father's name! (again read John 15:1-8) The link is one which at present I feel ill equipped to explain. I think back once again to the fact that my core can't lose it's foundation in Christ. It is safe and in the vine it remains healthy. What about my apple flesh? That flesh that is not quite fully edible. I am told to "remain" in the vine and bear much fruit. How do I go about "remaining"? What does that look like?

I believe "remaining" and "abiding" must look a great deal like feasting on a continual diet of the Truth of God's Word which by it's nature can't help but create in me a strong faith (Romans 10:17) and an attitude of great expectation while I submit to God's process of pruning. Action seems to be the proof of understanding and acceptance of the Truth (James 1:22) Next, here comes obedience rounding out the "remaining" role. Every call to obedience is a call to faith, an opportunity to ACT like I BELIEVE, showing I trust and understand God to be Who He says He is. When I obey I get to experience God as He says He is! All of a sudden obedience is joy, not a burden!

This is just what I needed today! I hope it helps you too.

Thank you Lord for Your Word, for Who You are and all You do for us! Help us to hear all you speak of in Your Word. Let us obey You LORD! You are so worthy of praise!