Can an apple tree produce oranges? Except for some rare exceptions, the answer is no. However, a skillful horticulturist may successfully graft related species of fruit trees. A live shoot of an orange or grapefruit branch can be grafted onto a lemon tree, for example. Within weeks, the shoots will begin to grow, and the tree will maintain the characteristics of each of the trees. The result is known as a “Fruit Cocktail Tree.”
God is a very skillful Horticulturist. He grafts sinners like you and me into Jesus Christ when we put our trust in Him. Once we become grafted into Christ, we get benefits. Like the grafted branches derive nutrients from the host tree’s roots, Christians partake of Jesus Christ’s provisions. Through Him, we receive love, acceptance, and forgiveness.
Grafted branches can’t boast. They owe their life and growth to the host tree. So it is for every believer. Our growth and spiritual fruit is not due to our goodness, but to Jesus Christ. He is our Life and Strength. We will bear fruit only in proportion to our abiding in Him.
Grafted branches can easily be removed. If the gardener determines they are not being productive, he will not hesitate to remove them. For the Christian, this does not mean his salvation is in jeopardy. It does mean his service as a fruit-bearing instrument may be cut short.
Finally, grafted branches must always be thankful. As stated before, the orange and grapefruit shoots grafted into the lemon tree owe it their life and fruit. What a foolish and insensitive thing it would be for them to speak against it or call for it to be cut down. Such would be fatal to their own existence. In the same vein, Christians should be the most thankful people in the world. They should be the last ones to speak against their pastors, churches, fellow believers, and especially their Savior. Their salvation has been obtained for a price, and they are indebted to Christ forever.
I hope you will never forget who you are, Christian. Let this awareness moderate your thoughts. Let it curb your pride. Let it make you a thankful person today.
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.