Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Example (07/25/13)
TITLE: The Flow of Life
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“Oh, Mommy,” Sam said, “it’s delicious!”
“It sure is, honey,” Sam’s mother said. “That’s why it’s called Golden Delicious.”
“Can I grow my own apple tree, Mommy? Please?”
“Well, you’ll have to keep the seeds from it and plant them in your own little patch.”
“Oooh! Can I?”
Carefully, Sam saved the seeds and planted them the next day with his Papa’s help.
One lovely spring morning, Sam rushed to the back door, shouting, “Mommy, they’re coming up!”
“What are you talking about, son?”
“My apple trees - they’re coming up!”
Five years later, Sam rushed to the back door again. “Oh, Mom, it’s horrible! It’s horrible!”
“It sure is, Sammy, it sure is,” she said as she bit into the first beautiful yellow apple. “Not worth a cent!”
Sam rushed back outdoors with it.
A few moments later, Mom saw Sam’s Golden Delicious go ‘Splat!’ against the garden wall.
What went wrong? Nothing. The seed did what a naturally pollinated apple seed does; it produced a crossbreed tree.
In 1890 in Clay County, West Virginia in the USA, someone discovered a wild apple tree on the farm of A H Mullins. In 1914, Stark Bros introduced its progeny to the public because it produced such delicious apples.
For 100 years, growers have created vast numbers of Golden Delicious trees. Every single one has come indirectly from that original tree – but only by grafting.
Sam didn’t know that.
Propagation of any variety of apple tree is possible by grafting - in the same way as those Golden Delicious trees.
Grafting apple trees is skilled work. The worker has to ensure that the young shoot cut from the parent variety is joined in a particular way to the special young apple tree known as a ‘rootstock’.
Between the bark of a tree and its wood underneath is a slippery layer of special cells. Botanists call it the cambium layer. Absolutely nowhere else except in that thin layer can new wood develop.
Consequently, the worker must ensure good contact between those vital layers in the rootstock and in the shoot from the parent tree.
Failure to make that vital contact will mean failure of the grafted shoot.
Successful contact will mean lovely new growth in the spring, perhaps five or six feet tall – the beginning of tree with a fruitful life ahead.
Grafting is a wonderful example of a Bible truth.
“I am the vine, you are the branches,” Jesus said. John 15:5.
He was not talking about the natural branches of a vine; He was talking about branches that are grafted into a vine.
In my Greek lexicon, the word translated ‘branch’ means, ‘A shoot or twig broken off to be grafted into another tree.’ The lexicon adds a note: ‘Especially a vine twig.’
The Creator of all things understood everything about vine growing!
He also said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. “Separated from Me you can do nothing.”
That exactly fits the grafting example.
When an apple tree graft fails to grow, there is one common cause – separation between the cambium layer of the grafted shoot and that of the rootstock. Therefore, it is impossible for life to flow.
If I do not grow or produce spiritual fruit, there is but one cause - my contact with Jesus is faulty. His life cannot flow into mine.
Without Him, separated from Him, I can produce nothing good.
I need the inflow of His life in order to live to His praise and glory. I need to keep in close contact with Him.
Lord Jesus, please enable me to do just that!
“As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4
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