The death of an apple seed…
In yesterday’s blog I referenced two examples of single-focussed men cited by Don Longworth in his message last Sunday. Paul, the second of these two men, even recommended himself as an example worth emulating; he urged his readers to do so, and also to seek out further examples to follow:
“All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things… Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.” (Phil. 3:15, 17).
Examples of what? Examples of this same singular focus: “I want to know Christ,” wrote Paul (Phil. 3:10). “I consider everything [else] a loss… I consider them garbage,” he says, “that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…” (v. 8,9) Paul wanted to be completely engulfed, consumed by Christ… to be ‘in’ Him.
Jesus final words to His followers, His ‘all-in-one’ directive was this, “Abide in Me.” (John 15:4). In other words, be in Me–and stay there. As we do, He transforms us!
In his messages Don also referenced an apple seed. How it is hid in the dirt but grows into a tree. I did a bit of research into this, to see just how this transformation occurs. What I found was even more amazing!
Turns out apple trees are not typically grown from seed. Why? They don’t “come true to seed.” This means the seed may turn out a bit different from the apple that contained it. To grow an apple just like the one from which the seed originated you must first grow a seedling then graft it into a maturing tree.
Amazing! The very same illustration Jesus made of Himself:
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 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.” (John 15:4-5l
“In Christ” Paul knew he would be found “not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.” (Phil. 3:9).
We cannot make ourselves ‘whole’ or ‘healthy’ or ‘righteous’ by working some plan on our own. We need external help. We need to be in Jesus, and like a seed be willing to transform. The seed dies, but the tree flourishes. Jesus! — that’s all… all-in-One! – Amen!
To hear Don Longworth’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Feb. 23 message.