Thursday, April 25, 2013

Healthy plant, diseased branch

Romans 11:16-21
Genesis 4:1-7
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Genesis doesn't specify why Cain's sacrifice was not accepted but it does describe it simply as "some of the fruits of the soil" while describing Abel's as being of the first and best portions of his flock. Their offering would reveal the reality of their hearts. When God rejected Cain's choice of a sacrifice, He was rejecting the state of his heart, not just the sacrifice itself. The sacrifice he chose was the fruit of a diseased plant, which he still had time to treat if he had listened to God. In quite the opposite way, the root of the Israelite people is healthy and strong, yet some of the branches have succumbed to disease and been removed. We should never assume though that all the branches are unhealthy, for sometimes only a twig needs to be removed, and sometimes the plant just needs some extra TLC for the branches to recover and stay on.
What sacrifices are you choosing to offer to God everyday? How do they reflect the state of your heart? The plant the Lord has chosen for the family of God is healthy and strong, from the roots back in Genesis through the core of Jesus, and will continue to stay strong to the end of the ages. But if the twig you are or the branch you are attached to is diseased, you cannot assume that He will leave you be to infect other branches. Ask Him now, before it's too late, to heal the disease, and offer to Him the best sacrifices you can: a repentant heart, time spent in His Presence, love for the Gardener.

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