Shadowy Branches Mark 4:30-34

“Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the Holiness of the Lord which He loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange God.”

Malachi 2:11.

Good morning, grieved Christian!  When you visit the place of worship, you grieve.  When you attend your prayer meeting, you grieve.  When you are called to a fellowship meeting at your local church, you grieve; and when you listen to a religious broadcast on the media, you also grieve sorely.  Why do you grieve so sore?  Why is your heart broken by what should be your means of joy and Spiritual strength?  Read on, beloved friend, the Scriptures will reveal all. 

“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  (John 8:32)

FAITH SOWING:  Faith was given by God through the hearing of His Gospel message of Salvation in Christ Jesus Alone.  (Acts 4:12) (John 14:6) (Romans 10:17)

The Gospel seed was sown in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, and faith took root and grew by God’s free grace and according to His Eternal Purpose.  We were therefore, born again of God, via the seeds of Calvary Victory, the precious Blood of Christ Jesus the Lamb of God.  Hallelujah!  What a Saviour! 

“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation (entire lifestyle) received by tradition from your faithers; but with the precious Blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who was preordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.”  (1 Peter 1:18-23)

FAITH GROWING:  Believers of “ precious faith...” began to meet together - to worship God Almighty, in and through Christ Jesus, in the manner God had instructed us so to do in His Word, the Bible. (Acts 2:41-47) (Hebrews 10:19-25)

The mustard seed of our faith began to blossom and grow in God’s grace - the Church was born.  (2 Peter 3:17-18) (2 Peter 1:1-10)

FAITH GLOWING:  The Church continued to grow and expand into every corner of this world of darkness, enlightening the way for all who were drawn to the Holy Spiritual glow.  By God’s Sovereign grace, many were gloriously saved.  Praise God!  (Acts 11:22-24)

Soon, the Church had branches everywhere - and many forgot their lowly mustard seed beginnings and became both arrogant and self-righteous with pride.   They began to go - ‘...their own way...’, seeking to please men instead of God.  (Proverbs 16:18)

“All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on Him (Christ Jesus) the iniquity of us all.”  (Isaiah 53:6)

FAITH GOING:  As today’s Bible passage depicts - soon, ‘...fowls of the air...’ began to lodge in the shadows of Church branches - and Christ interprets His own Word as to the nature of these ‘...fowls of the air...’.  (Luke 8:5;11-12)

“And these are they by the way side, where the Word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taken away the Word that was sown in their hearts.        (Mark 4:15)

These fowl birds depicted, take God’s Words out of would-be believer’s mouths and hearts - and sound Scriptural doctrines are deftly devoured by them.  All true believers grieve so very sore when this happens.  True faith must be preached/taught all over again, if these professing pests of apostasy are to be plucked out of fading church congregations.

FAITH BESTOWING:  Farmers take a shotgun to winged pests which plague the harvest crop.  In like manner, Scriptural ‘...fowls of the air...’ are soon cut down and rooted out of the Church - by preaching and teaching Bible truth; that faith-imparting two-edged Sword of the Spirit; and by use of the righteous Hammer of God’s great Word.  (Hebrews 4:12)   (Jeremiah 23:28-32)

J.C. Ryle Comments:

“The visible church of Christ has not yet done growing. Notwithstanding the melancholy apostasy of some of its branches, and the deplorable weakness of others, it is still extending and expanding over the world. New branches have continually been springing up in America, in India, in Australia, in Africa, in China, in the Islands of the South Seas, during the last fifty years. Evils un­doubtedly there are many. False profession and corrup­tion abound. But still, on the whole, heathenism is waning, wearing out, and melting away. In spite of all the predictions of Voltaire and Payne, in spite of foes without and treachery within, the visible church progresses, —the mustard plant still grows.

“And the prophecy, we may rest assured, is not yet exhausted. A day shall yet come, when the great Head of the church shall take to His power, and reign, and put down every enemy under His feet. The earth shall yet be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 2:2) Satan shall yet be bound. The heathen shall yet be our Lord’s inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth His possession. And then this parable shall receive its full accomplishment. The little seed shall become “a great tree,” and fill the whole earth. (Daniel 3:35.) (J.C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels 1816-1900)

With the above Biblical process in mind, and the Spiritual remedy at our faithful hand, grieve no longer, Spirit-led Christian - exercise Spiritual pest-control immediately in your location.

Thought:  Foul birds shall only lodge in Christ’s Church branches - as long as true, Bible-believing, born again Christians allow them!  Draw that Sword!  (Heb.4:12)

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