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Branches and Sticks

On a recent walk I noticed a huge tree. This tree had a large trunk that went into several other big branches. Around these branches were hundreds of smaller branches, all coming from the main trunk. It looked really impressive.

On the ground around this tree were hundreds, if not thousands, of small branches that had broken off from the tree. Due to the wind and the elements, these branches, which were once growing out of the trunk, were now sticks, and were slowly decaying into the earth.

I was reminded of how the word `alone` or `forsaken` is sometimes translated by a Hebrew phrase meaning `to his stick`, and what is meant by ‘stick’ here is a piece of a tree which is separated from the tree itself.

When Jesus was crucified, the earth shook, and Jesus was forsaken, left `alone` by His heavenly Father. He died and went to a place of decay. Thankfully, after three days, He rose again to bring life into the world.

In Romans 11 Paul talks about the people of God as an olive tree, and how the Gentiles are like wild olive shoots that have been grafted into the tree and Jewish people are like branches that have been broken off. This has happened partly because of the unbelief of the Jewish people and partly because of God`s grace in bringing salvation for all people in the world. He then goes on to talk about how Gentiles shouldn’t be arrogant in their faith, or boast that they’ve been grafted in.

I believe we’re in a time when God is shaking the nations, but, compared to what it will be like, this is only a small tremor. In the day of Christ`s return all nations, churches, ministries and people will be shaken. And at that time all branches in the tree will break off, if they’re not standing firm in Christ Jesus.

God’s asking us to keep our eyes on Him, seek Him, and not to be afraid. He will then lead us home. In this time and the time to come we’re also told to reach out to the nation of Israel, to offer the hand of Christ to them, so they too may be grafted back into the tree.

Prayer: Father, we thank You that, as believers in Jesus Christ, we’ve been grafted into Your family. We pray that we may stand firm in You at this time, and grow deeper in Your love. May we be able to stand firm during this time of shaking. Help us to reach out to all those who don’t know You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 

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Scripture

"Behold the storm of the Lord, wrath has gone forth a whirling tempest it will burst upon the head of the wicked the fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intentions of his mind in the later days you will understand this."
Jeremiah 30: 23-24, NIV

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Today's Writer

Chris Cherrill is currently working at Ellel Grange in the UK. He has 2 roles, one as marketing manager and the second as part of the kitchen team. He has worked in ministry to the poor and broken since 2004 and his heart is to see people set free from compulsive behaviour. He is currently undertaking Modular School A which has challenged him beyond belief and brought him into a deeper relationship with Jesus.

Chris Cherrill


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