Saturday, November 02, 2013

Leaning Tree - Reaction Wood: A Lesson in Christian Growth

  Matthew 17:17 “And Jesus answered and said, “'You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him here to Me.”'

Become what Jesus wants us to be. There is frustration in this verse by Jesus. The disciples could not cure a sick man. Instead of being frustrated I want Jesus to be pleased with me. And to say well done good and faithful servant.

What is a person who is warped (unbelieving, perverted)? He is different than what he was supposed to be. If you buy a piece of lumber and it is warped, it was cut straight, but the fibers pulled it out of plumb. What causes the board to warp? It grew crooked to begin with. And what causes the board to grow crooked?

A tree might start to grow straight on a hill but through time the ground on the hill may slide a little down the hill. But the tree that was growing straight is now compromised by the ground which slid. The bole of the tree is now leaning because the ground moved.

The tree reacts to a leaning bole by putting more growth on the downhill side than the uphill side to cause the stem to grow straight towards the light. This reaction is called reaction wood, which will warp after the lumber has come out of the mill.

Christians endeavor to follow Christ. But if our foundations have shifted, the resulting growth is warped and is not what our master would like. The solution is to reset our foundations. A tree has no ability to change the foundation it grows from. We do, but many have a vested interest in the past. We don't like to admit that our past efforts are not according to the will of God.

A  tree may not have a clear path to light, so it grows at an angle to reach the light. Christians should go where they can get to the light. If they have to bend and to get to the light there will be a problem with their lives down the road. Always seek for the light and don't let hindrances keep you from receiving the light. Do we put things in our life, hindering our ability to receive from God? Do we think on problems and let these fester, causing us to block out the light of God? Reject the doubt and accept the word of God.

If we are going to produce good fruit, we first need to check our foundation to ensure our growth is straight.  Matt 7:24-27 let us base our life on the rock and that rock is the Word Jesus has given us.

Many of us want to do away with doubt but are not willing to put away the things that block the light of God from shining in our hearts. Decide to pay the price to live for God. You won't be sorry.

Matt 6:24
No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. NASV

The word of God is true. Numbers 23:19; Romans 3:4 Yet we reject it and explain it away by tradition.

Isaiah 29:13
Then the Lord said, “Because this people draw near with their words And honor Me with their lip service, But they remove their hearts far from Me, And their reverence for Me consists of tradition learned by rote,
Matthew 15:3
And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
Mark 7:8
Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

Let us not follow the traditions of man but follow the teachings of Jesus.

Many don't look into the Scripture for themselves but follow the traditions set by others in the past. I'm not saying reject what others have set up. But I am saying read the Scriptures for yourself and decide to follow them. Find Christian leaders who have set their heart to follow God and align yourself with them.