Old Testament Lesson
We see in this passage Isaiah speaking about the branch of the Lord and how He will bless it. One of the reasons why I love the Bible is how everything comes together. In Romans, Paul talks about how those that believe are branched graphed into the tree of life (Romans 11: 17-20).
Branches separated from the tree are merely dead sticks. The Lord wants to nourish us, to cause to grow, to give us life. But, the receive His life giving power, we must stay connected to Him. I have a friend of mine whose spiritual advice to me is always: Pray, read the Bible, and go to church. That's pretty good advice.
For us to stay rooted in God and be the branches He wants us to be, we must stay in Him. That means we must seek His face, read His Word, spend time with His people. In short, pray, read the Bible, go to church. Today, are grounded into the tree of Life? Or are you a dry stick?
New Testament Lesson
We see that in the church, we are all different. We have different graces, different talents, different callings. We are each called. Make no mistake about it. If you are a baptized Christian, then you are called to something by our God, and that calling is not to sit on a pew only. You are to go and be faithful to God in all your life.
But, one calling is not better than another. Just because I'm a preacher doesn't mean that I'm a better Christian than anyone or that my calling is superior to any else, it is just different. Everything we do in church is supposed to be for the Glory of God and the unity of the Body of Christ. We should do nothing about of selfish ambition, nothing our of pride, nothing out of wanting our way only.
Everything in church should be done for God's glory.
The folks in this town didn't respond to Jesus the way other towns did. Normally folks came from all over to hear Jesus and have their loved ones healed. Today, this town asks Him to leave. Why? Well, he brought change. He brought power. Jesus didn't come to leave things the same, He came to change us into what God would have us to be.
Jesus is dangerous. He will not leave you alone. He will not leave you in your sin. He will not allow you to remain unchanged. And, we don't like that. So, we ask Him to leave. But, that doesn't work, so we leave. We don't come to church. We don't read the Word. We don't pray. So, that way, we don't have tolisten to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, telling us that we need to change.
Today, how do you respond to Jesus?