The Dead Tree
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John 4:13-14--Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
It had stopped raining. My break time had arrived and I stood outside at the back door of the office.
We had had a very wet spring. The trees and all the foliage were a beautiful verdant, lush green. At the back of the parking lot there is a small wooded area. As I observed the trees, I noticed the top of one particular tree peering out between some others. The leaves were brown and they stood in stark contrast to the green surrounding them. Obviously the tree was dead. Someone commented that it would probably fall over one of these days during a bad storm and the accompanying high winds.
I contemplated for a moment. At times I am like that tree. I dwell among the living, but I am really dead. Jesus told a parable about the tares among the wheat. Sometimes I am likes those weeds living among crop. Churches are full of spiritually lifeless people who rub elbows with those who are vibrant and full of spiritual life.
It is so easy for me to fall into a spiritual rut. I allow my resources to become depleted and I wither up and die. I stumble into a dark pit of sin. I backslide because I fail to use the spiritual weapons that are so easily at my disposal.
There are those in foreign nations who must hide if they want to read God's word. Public assembly would land them imprisoned. It is illegal for them to claim Christ as their savior. It has been said that more people were martyred for the name of Christ in the 20th century than in the preceding 19 centuries. Yet in those countries the church is growing and thriving. They love the Lord will all their hearts. Those Christians shame me. Would I be willing to endure the torture and persecution they have to bear?
I live in a land of spiritual plenty. There is a church practically on every corner. Bibles are available in just about any language I could want in stores nationwide. Christian teaching is broadcast freely on the airwaves. But I just don't seem to care. Why do I starve in a land of plenty? Why do I thirst when the fountain of God flows freely? Maybe it is because the truth is so easily accessible that I take it for granted. I assume it will always be so available.
I hope I don't have to be tortured or persecuted for my faith in order to be revived. Will God have to take it away access to His word and His church in order to awaken me from this spiritual slumber I am in?
"Lord, forgive me for my neglect of the spiritual resources you have so bountifully provided. Forgive me for not loving you enough. Forgive me for taking your goodness for granted. Amen."
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