Friday, November 9, 2012

Low Hanging Fruit

Low Hanging Fruit


“Do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.“ – Romans 11:18

Years ago I worked for a wonderful manager, and I learned the term “Low Hanging Fruit” in project management.  The idea is that when you have a ton of work to do, you first get rid of the “Low Hanging Fruit” – those things that are easy to finish off, and just mark them off the to-do list.  This makes it easy to see the real work at hand apart from the things that were simple chores.
Satan sees weak Christians as low-hanging fruit.  They’re barely hanging onto the vine, easy to spoil when they’re laying close to the earth and out of the light of the Son.  A few harsh winds blown there way and they’re become disconnected. 

Our churches are not doing the good work of discipleship when we allow this to happen and don’t go after that fallen fruit.  We tend to look at the sin, and forget the sinner.  Jesus didn’t do that.  He sought to connect with the sinner and see the sin removed.
A child of God is forever a child of God, justified by Jesus’ own righteousness.  His blood covering does not wash away.  Eternal life is ETERNAL life.  But the process of sanctification is God’s perfect work in transforming us into holy ones, from glory unto glory (2 Corinthians 3:18).  We don’t all go through the process from step 1 to step 2 to step 3 and so on.  Some of us fall back once in a while and it’s more like one step forward, two steps back.  But we all have worth in God’s eyes, even those that fall back.  He is the good shepherd that will leave the 99 and go after the one.  But we operate differently, tending to leave the backslidden Christian in their misery, while we feel content in our own self-righteous view of our own position with Christ.

We read in Romans 11 of the Gentile’s inheritance to Jesus being as a grafted in branch to an olive tree, the tree representing the Jews.  It starts by talking of those branches that would not believe that were broken off, and says “do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.“ You don’t support God.  God supports you.  Doesn’t that put it all in perspective?  You are righteous only because He sought you out, He drew you to Him, and He saved you.  The only thing you can boast of is grace and Jesus Christ.
He goes on to instruct us about boasting in our righteousness, or being content in our righteousness, in verses 19-23 saying,

“You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.”
God wants to reconnect and sanctification the low hanging fruit that has been lost.  Will you help Him?  Will you seek out those that have fallen and mentor them?  Will you invite them to church and befriend them and give them a comfort level in reentering the church doors?  Will you teach them to study and delight in His word?  Please understand that not doing so is assisting satan in his ruining the low hanging fruit.  And remember, when he’s done with them, he still has chores higher on the tree to finish.  He will come for you too. 

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