Saturday, February 28th, 2015
Fellowship (Part 23)
Church Branches: His Extensions
I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
John 15:5-8 (NKJV)*
Now I exhort you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment. For I have been informed concerning you, my brethren... that there are quarrels among you. Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, 'I am of Paul,' and 'I of Apollos,' and 'I of Cephas,' and 'I of Christ.'
1 Corinthians 1:10-12 (NASB)
John Chapter 15 is about our relationships: to the Lord, each other and the world.* Clearly, Jesus is the Vine and we are His Branches: extensions reaching out in all directions.
Consider these extensions to be Christian denominations: old and large, moderate and established, or new and growing. From each branch come smaller branches bearing fruit. At least, that's the plan. But in some places, the plan is compromised.
Denominations lie at cross purposes with each other. But that's not the Cross of Christ. On key points we must unite: The top of the Cross is Heaven: God as our Father. The Man on the Cross is Jesus: our Lord and Savior. The sides of the Cross bear His Arms: an outreach of love. The base of the Cross is the earth: in need of His grace.
As a result of cross attitudes instead of Cross-bearing, many Christian branches are broken, twisted, withered and fungal. But in certain areas (like China), branches are growing directly toward the Son. They're vigorous and fruitful, pushing through thorns in their path.
They look at the older branches with curiosity, because the ground around them is clear. But their freedom is wasted by infighting. But that's not the Good Fight.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: be like Chinese Christians. Ignore pettiness and seek holiness. Endure persecution and reach directly toward the Son. A path opens for you through the muck of media. If thorns prick you on this path, consider them part of your crown.
Because your King wore one far worse.
To Be Continued...
* John 15: A vital Chapter about our relationship to Jesus, each other and the world: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John%2015&version=NASB
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Fellowship series.