A curious thing happened with a bouquet of roses at my Dad's house. These roses were given by my Mom's brother for her memorial service. I was cleaning up the wilting flowers and noticed that several of the long stems had sprouts of new growth on them. I had never seen that before. We saved some of those long stems to see if they would root. Sadly, they did not take so they were discarded. It was amazing to see the new shoots grow to over an inch long.
When you read about caring for roses, you find out that they are actually two plants in one. One half is the sturdy rootstock. This has been chosen to resist disease, handle cold and heat, as well as survive pretty well in questionable soil.
The other half is the branches that are grafted into the rootstock. These are chosen for the number and size of blooms, color and fragrance. A horticulturist will spend years developing a special hybrid. And once he is satisfied with it's uniqueness, beauty and fragrance, he gives it a name.
Once grafted, it is a relationship between two plants that is a delight to experience.
In my ladies' Bible study this week, we studied John 15. It's all about roots and grafting and I was loving the word picture Jesus painted.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. John 15:4
We had the stems in a vase of water with a root hormone and Miracle Grow...but this was not enough. These new shoots could not produce more blossoms because it was not grafted into a rootstock.
This what happens when a Christian only practices being a Christian on Sundays. Yes, you get a sermon, you worship a bit and you leave your offering. By Tuesday you've forgotten the message and wish you had that offering back for an unexpected bill. Jesus says "Abide in me..." That means dwell, remain, be grafted in and grow in Him...every day.
What happens when we "abide"? Think about yourself as that lovely rose sprout that is grafted into the rootstock.
You were thought of in the beginning, God knew exactly what He was doing when He created you. And when everything was just right, He called you by name. You were chosen because of your unique qualities that nobody else has...your talents, your life experiences, your demeanor.
When you become a Christian, you are grafted in to the sturdy rootstock of Jesus Christ. You experience a growth like never before seen--even in questionable soil. Without the "Root of Jesse", you are like these stems in water...you will only see a little growth. When you abide, you don't have to grow by your own strength, you draw it from your rootstock--Jesus Christ.
I want you to take time today to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the "rose" inside of you, waiting to bloom. Abide, dwell, remain in Him by reading His Word, praying at all times and sharing that fragrance and beauty that He found special in you. Believe me, it is a relationship that is a delight to experience.
I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5