Monday, July 7, 2014

Alive Again

I never noticed how many palms there are in our city until we started walking.  Some are tall trees, some are more bush like, and some are in between.  They are not a plant I generally care for, but in some instances they look just perfect.

The ice-storm we experienced this past winter was not a pleasant thing for these palms.  In fact, as we walked through our city  afterward, I was saddened on more than one occasion by the apparent death of the palms.  Their fronds had become a mass of brown and I wondered how the various land owners would deal with the loss of their plants.

Then Spring came.

I began to notice something very interesting about the palms.  They didn't look so dead after all.  It first began as a cone shaped thing coming from the center of the palm.  Looking closely, I could see the hope of palm fronds to come all bundled together in this mass.

The center cone became larger and larger as the days passed.  Then the individual parts began to blossom.

Finally, over the weeks, the tan blossoms turned green. The palms were back.  Many of them look healthier and prettier than before they were covered in ice.

The Lord built into that palm plant the how and when to renew itself, to be alive again.  The plant didn't do it for itself, God put that in there.

As those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus as our Savior, He has put in us the how and when to be "alive again" as well.  In fact, He has accomplished the death and resurrection of our inward man Himself, our only response is faith.

"But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:" (Ephesians 2:4-6.)

We were dead in our sins without the Lord, and He quickened us -- He made us alive in the spirit-- and bonded us to Himself.  He raised us up and has set us with Him in heavenly places.

I love the old word "quicken."  It means alive.  In an obstetrics sense, a woman is said to have experienced "quickening" when she has felt the baby move. . .she knows by what she feels the baby is alive.  When we come to know the Lord by grace through faith, we know that we are newly alive as well.

The Apostle Paul describes our quickening more fully in Romans:

"Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?  Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.   
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin.  
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him. For in that He died, He died unto sin once: but in that He liveth, He liveth unto God.  
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:3-11.)

Like the palms that to me were dead and are now alive, in Christ we have been created as a "new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  (2 Corinthians 5:15.)

Let us live in the joy and truth of the resurrection that the Lord has wrought in our very hearts.  We are no longer that "old" person, but we are new with hearts that  "delight in the law of God after the inward man," (Romans 7:22.)

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