11/30/10

Withered Branches

If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered, and men gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. John 15:6


"The lessons these words teach are very simple and very solemn. A man can come to such a connection with Christ that he counts himself to be in Him, and yet he can be cast forth.  ...There is such a thing as a withered branch, one in whom the initial union with Christ appears to have taken place, and in whom yet it is seen that his faith was but for a time....And what may be the cause of this 'not abiding'? With some it is that they never understood that the Christian calling leads to holy obedience and loving service. They were content with the thought that they had believed and were safe from hell; there was neither motive nor power to abide in Christ - they knew not of the need of it.....Let each of us turn within. Is our life fresh, and green, and vigorous, bringing forth its fruit in its season [See Psalm 1:3; 92:13-14; Jeremiah 17:7-8) Let us accept every warning with a willing mind, and let Christ's 'if a man abide not' give new urgency to His 'abide in Me.'...Withered! O my Father, watch over me, and keep me, and let nothing ever for a moment hinder the freshness that comes from a full abiding in the Vine. Let the very thought of a withered branch fill me with holy fear and watchfulness." - Murray