Friday, June 19, 2009

A Tangelo Christian

A Tangelo Christian

A Tangelo is a deliberate or accidental hybrid of any mandarin orange and the grapefruit or pummelo.  The result is not quite a mandarin orange and not quite a grapefruit or a pummelo, but quite delicious.  This is done by grafting.  Grafting is simply inserting a cut twig from one fruit tree into a cut in another compatible fruit tree. Creating successful crossbreeds of similar plants and other flora ... Most same fruit varieties can be grafted easily. A successful graft happens when the vascular cambium tissues of the both plants must be placed in contact with each other and a connection takes place between the two tissues. Almost all citrus types are compatible with other citruses.  The vascular system of the tree and the inserted branch become one.  The sap of the tree goes into the branch changing the character of the fruit produced.  The sap does not change the physical appearance of the branch, but the fruit it produces. 

Are you a tangelo Christian?  Christ compared Himself with a vine in John 15:1 and added that we are the branches in John 15: 5.  As long as we are in the vine we "bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."  Paul adds another dimension to this in Romans 11,

Rom11:18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

Rom11:19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

Rom11:20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

Rom11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Some branches were broken off and others were grafted in.  As long as the vine's and branches' "vascular" systems take well and connect, the "divine sap" will go in the branch, so the "fruit" will be more like Christ's (Galatians 5:22).

The metaphor of Christ's body is similar, in fact parallel.  The members of our body are attached to each other by different kinds of tissues.  All the members are one body.  A vascular system goes through our body taking blood with oxygen and nutrients to these body parts.  However, the members work in harmony because they are all connected to the brain, which is in the head, by the nervous system.  If the brain or the nerves stop working so will the respective body parts.  Therefore the unity and harmony will disappear.  This is because the members of the body do the head's will. 

Paul said just as many members make up one body, we make up the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:20).  Then Paul added that Christ is the head of the body (1 Corinthians 11:3; Colossians 2:19).  And Paul confirms this in Epheisans 1:22 – 23 and also in Colossians 1:18.  Let us read these passages,

Ephesians 1:22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Ephesians 1:23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all

Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

This being the case, the only way for the body of Christ to work in unity and harmony is to be connected to the head, which is Christ, via "the nervous system."  Any "member" not attached to "the head" via this "nervous system" is not really part of "the body of Christ," even if they are connected through any other "tissue."  The body of Christ is one with Christ.  It does nothing with out Christ's consent.  It does His will.

Christ is the Vine and the head.  We are the branches and the other members of the body.  They are connected with the "vascular system" and nervous system, respectively.  What are then the vascular system and the nervous system?  It is Faith which comes through hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).  It is by Faith that "we have access … into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2).  It is by Faith that we shall live (Hebrews 10:38).

Raul Diaz

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fwd: How Jesus Spent.doc

How Jesus Spent "His" Time 

Balance as an adjective is a state in which opposing tendencies are equal. To balance an object means to position it with its centre of gravity above its supports in such a way that there is no tendency for it to topple over to one side rather than to another.  The forces of gravity are equal on each side.  The following list describes how it is used in other fields. 

(acoustics) The condition in a stereo system wherein both speakers produce the same average sound levels.
(aerospace engineering) The equilibrium attained by an aircraft, rocket, or the like when forces and moments are acting upon it so as to produce steady flight, especially without rotation about its axes.
(chemistry) To bring a chemical equation into balance so that reaction substances and reaction products obey the laws of conservation of mass and charge.
(electricity) The state of an electrical network when it is adjusted so that voltage in one branch induces or causes no current in another branch.

We could say that balance in social terms is the point at which you are able to give time to all parties and/or activities and they all are satisfied.  Something humanly impossible to do, but that we believe we should be able to do.  This is why many experts say that we should learn to say, "No."  You cannot please everyone and do all things well at all times.   

From our human perspective Christ lives an "unbalanced" life.  (He said, "No," sometimes.)  He "neglected" and "ignored" His family (Matthew 12: 46 – 50).  He did not eat at times (John 4: 31 – 33).  All, so He could do what is listed in the following verses suggested by our lesson - Matthew 4:2, Mark 1:29-31, Luke 4:16, John 2:1-11, John 12:2.  These examples can be summarized in four different categories of work: preaching, feeding, healing, and feeding.  This is how Jesus spent part of His time.

We should note that Jesus said repeatedly that it was not He that did the works, but His Father.  Let us read from John 8: 28, 29; 12: 49, 50; and 14:10,   

John8:28 Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

John8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him. 

John12:49 For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.

John12:50 And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. 

John14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. 

Jesus spent the time given to Him doing the Father's will.  To be able to do this Jesus prayed - sometimes all night.  Here are a few verses talking about that,  

Mark1:35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. 

Luke5:16 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. 

Luke9:28 And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray. 

Luke6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 

The prayer enabled and empowered Him to lay aside His will so he could do His Father's will, which in His case was preaching, feeding, healing, and feeding.  Christ died to self daily.  He said, "No," to Himself in order to say, "Yes," to the Father.  To live as Jesus lived then is to live a life doing as the Father's wills.  This may be for you just being a father or mother to your children.  It may be being a husband or wife to your spouse.  Not all of us are called to be evangelists.  Whatever the calling God gives to you it will require serious prayer to be able to do it. 
Raul Diaz