January 24, 2008

Grafted on to Christ

Sharon Jaynes

 

 

Today’s Truth

“Branches were broken off that I could be grafted in” (Romans 11:19 NIV).

 

Friend to Friend

Julianna came out of the womb ready to meet every challenge with determination, every celebration with enthusiasm, and every mystery with the passion of discovery. Her fiery red hair was matched only by her fiery personality. She never did anything half-way, but with the throttle full speed ahead. Of the Price’s three children, Julianna was the one who frequented the emergency room for stitches due to throwing caution to the wind as she whirled through her childhood.

 

One day when Julianna was twelve years old, she rushed out her front door on her way to dance class. She slammed the door behind her as she hurried to catch her ride, but the door closed before all of her fingers followed her body across the threshold. Now you have probably slammed your fingers in a door a time or two, and can remember wincing a bit. But Julianna never does anything half-way. She jerked to a sudden halt, spun around quickly, and saw her appendages trapped in the closed door. When she opened the door to remove her hand, she was horrified to discover that not all of it was there. She had amputated the upper third of her second right finger.

 

“Help! Somebody help me! I’ve just cut off my finger!”

 

Fortunately, the woman picking her up for dance class was a nurse. She rushed to the screaming ballerina. “Julianna, where’s your mom?” she asked.

 

“She’s not here,” Julianna answered between sobs. “Nobody’s here but Daniel.”

 

“Quick,” the neighbor instructed, “Let’s put some pressure on that nub. Daniel, come help us!” she yelled.

 

Daniel, Julianna’s fifteen-year-old brother, ran down the stairs at the cry for help.

 

“Julianna’s just cut her finger off. You have to find it. We’ve got to put it in ice and take her to the hospital right away.”

 

A pale faced Daniel went to the scene of the accident. As he hung his head, he saw the finger lying at his feet. Trying not to lose his breakfast, Daniel picked up his sister’s digit in a towel and handed it over to the nurse.

 

Well, the good news is that they got to the hospital in time. The skilled doctor put Humpty-Dumpty back together again and told them to pray that the finger would reattach.

 

“We’ll keep our fingers crossed,” he said with a grin as he walked out of the treatment room.

 

A few days later Julianna unwrapped the bandages, afraid of what she might find underneath. What she saw was not a pretty sight. Instead of a finger, she saw a black mushroom-like thimble sitting atop her nub.

 

“Doctor, we took the bandage off today. It’s black and crusty and looks like a mushroom cap,” her mom reported. “It looks dead.”

 

“That’s fine,” he reassured her. “Don’t worry. If nature is working properly, and it sounds like it is, the top will turn black, but underneath, nerves and blood vessels are reattaching. Underneath the thimble, a new finger is forming. She needs the old part in order for the new part to form underneath. In about three weeks, we’ll know if the procedure worked. Just keep it wrapped and clean.”

 

A few weeks after the accident, Julianna came to spend the night with us while she was attending a dance camp in my hometown. I had the pleasure of her company and the displeasure of changing her bandage. Her description was accurate.

 

Four weeks after Julianna had returned home, she wrote me a thank you note for having her in our home. She ended by saying, “P.S. Guess what? My crusty thimble fell off and I have a new finger!”

 

Now don’t ask me how this happened. It is a mystery to me. But scripture tells of another mystery that is just as amazing. Another grafting process that is just as miraculous. God demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were still sinners (cut off, dead, rotten to the core), Christ died for us and made it possible for us to be grafted onto the living root – Jesus Himself (Romans 5:8, Romans 11:17). At the very moment we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, we receive a new living spirit to replace our old dead spirit. God performs a spiritual makeover in the twinkling of an eye - in the time it takes for us to say, “I believe.”

 

Now that’s a miracle.

 

Let’s Pray

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for grafting me onto the living root of Jesus Christ. It is a miracle that You could take a dead spirit like mine, graft it onto the vine of Jesus Christ, and make me spiritually alive in Him. I pray that my fruit will glorify You as I continue to grow in Your heavenly Vineyard.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

 

Now It’s Your Turn

When we are grafted onto Jesus Christ, our lives are change dramatically. One thing that changes is that our “fruit” is different.

 

What did Jesus’ fruit look like when we walked the earth? What did He produce?

 

What should our fruit look like if we are grafted onto the Vine of Jesus?

 

More from the Girlfriends

Today’s devotion was taken from Experience the Ultimate Makeover by Sharon Jaynes. If you would like to learn more about how to make your “fruit” match your faith, check it out!

 

 

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