Wasting Jesus

These are photos of our olive tree. We didn’t plant the olive tree. It was here before our time. We have never had access to an olive tree before and subsequently have never educated ourselves on how to harvest or cure olives. As you would know, olives are used for consumption as well as for their oil.

When we realised we had an olive tree, there were only a few very green olives showing. After some online research I discovered that the season for ripening and harvest was coming up. I researched different ways of harvesting or curing olives. I’m still not efficient in my understanding of the processes and what to call them.  However, I quickly learned that there are a myriad of ways to prepare olives for consumption as well as for oil.

As Derek and I watched the olives gradually getting more plentiful and darker, I began to feel it would be a crime to just leave them on the tree and not have a go at harvesting them. Although there is a lot of spiritual imagery in the process of harvesting/curing olives (the use of salt, time, hidden places etc) I’m not going to focus this post on those things.

The thing is, Derek and I had a go at harvesting them. We tried two different methods and then I went away for a week to see family. When I returned I checked how they were going (they can take up to 15 weeks or something crazy like that). Derek and I checked on them periodically but they just didn’t seem to be working. I hadn’t done things properly I’m sure of that.  When I saw they weren’t working how they’re supposed to, I threw them all out in the garbage. After that, I pretty much lost interest, even though the olives on the tree this very day are sitting there ripe and ready for harvesting.

That’s the point of this post. The waste. The tree is full of olives, purple olives. Some are even sundried already, they’ve been on the tree for so long. Many have turned black and fallen to the ground. There’s an abundance of olives just ripe for the picking.

But you know what? I can’t be bothered. The process is beyond my comprehension. The process is too lengthy. There’s too much information on the internet on how to harvest or cure them. I can’t even get the terminology right. I have no understanding. I’m lazy. And as a result, they are being wasted. Every time I look at the tree I see the abundance and I see the waste. This is the point of my post today.

Sometimes, isn’t that just the way we are with Jesus? When I looked at the tree today, I just saw how Christ is this abundant Tree of Life ripe for the taking. He is full and glorious, rich and tasty, available for consumption and for His healing oil. And like our olive tree, He was always there, even before we arrived. His life was existing and increasing without our help, He just was. He just is.

And now, what are we doing with this Christ? Are we just walking by Him every day and ignoring Him? Are we letting His glorious life go to waste, so to speak? Do we think it is all too hard to get know Him so we just don’t bother? Are there so many opinions from experts out there on how to get to know Him that we are overwhelmed and so we shrink back?

The nature of Christ, is that regardless of whether or not we draw from His life or even acknowledge Him, He will still be there. Season after season, He will produce all the goodness that we need. He is an endless supply, THE endless supply. He is there for the taking. But just like the olives don’t just jump off the tree and cure themselves and pop themselves into an oil jar or a pickling jar in our fridge ready for consumption, Jesus doesn’t just do everything for us without our involvement.

Jesus wants us to work with Him. There’s a relationship involved. There’s not a labour of our own life, but His life within us as we make ourselves available to Him and actively participate in His life. We are co-workers with Christ. Yes, He has done it all, and yes He is sufficient in and of Himself, but it is the will of the Father that we might participate and partake of His Son’s life.

Are we actively participating in the process of getting to know our Lord? Are we desperate enough for His glorious life to be lived through us that we will put in the time and effort to walk through the hard stuff so that He gets what He wants in us? Or would we rather just go to the store (passively sit in a pew) and buy what’s already been prepared and packaged for us?

God help us. God forgive us for wasting the Life of Your precious Son.  Lord, do what You must do in us, to shake and move us out of our comfortable seats to really get to know You – who You are – and participate and partake in Your glorious Life. Have Your way oh Lord.

You know, one of the really great things about getting to really know our Lord Jesus? It’s that we are not motivated any longer by guilt. I could race off now and try and harvest/cure the olives off that tree out of guilt. But you know what? I’m totally chuffed and satisfied that the Lord has used all of this to point me to Him, to show me about His life. And just as I’m not led into guilt about not labouring in harvesting the olives, the Lord doesn’t lead me into guilt over not getting to know Him more. He is simply as that olive tree, He is there. He waits. He continues to display His available life to me. He draws me to Him. He speaks to me and reveals Himself to me through things like an olive tree in our front garden. And by doing so, He continues to woo me to Him. I begin to long for more of Him.

This is the life of God folks. He draws us by His life and by His love revealed to us in His Son. What will we do with this life of His Son?

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An Abundant Land

Narnias mulberry treeG’day there!

It’s the 12th of the 12th, 2015 and here I am sitting in my new office for the first time, in the new house the Lord has given me and my family. God has been faithful as always. We moved in here on the 27th of November and what a ride this last month has been. Some of you have been following my blog posts on our situation regarding moving house and how the Lord has been revealed to us so beautifully through it all so I am delighted to now share the next chapter (but not the last) on our move.

For a re-cap if you haven’t been following, you can read the following posts ……

https://donnaleebatty.com/2015/05/18/the-land-where-i-live/

https://donnaleebatty.com/2015/10/02/is-god-preparing-you-to-move-on/

https://donnaleebatty.com/2015/11/09/when-were-down-to-the-wire/

https://donnaleebatty.com/2015/11/30/he-did-it-again/

We have moved from a land of wide open space looking out onto plains and paddocks ready for development by the father and son landlords, to an established land of fruit trees and shade, tucked away in semi-suburbia. It is a large block of land offering refreshment with the biggest shadiest mulberry tree I’ve ever seen. There’s an apple, a pear, a lime and a lemon tree, a pool for this Summer season we’ve just entered here in Australia and water from three different sources. Water is sourced from town water, tank water and a well :-).

apple tree

To the right of us is an agricultural farm for the high school (yes it does get a little noisy) and so our neighbours are sheep and chooks, literally at our window and I think soon there’ll be baby lambs arriving, it’ll be our very own navity scene in time for Christmas! To the left of us is a long vacant block at the rear of a house which is down on the street, while our house is on a battle-axe block with the vacant land down on the street.

Funnily enough, (and praise the Lord that I am learning to see the funny side of His ways) the vacant block at the front of our house currently has a development application in council and we are told that ‘eventually’ our landlord will develop our block also. So once again we have come into a land that is intended for development – and as a sister from our group commented yesterday, this is a reflection of the life of the church and how the Lord is always about development, change, transformation, moving us on in Him and taking us wherever He leads us. Great stuff!

Derek and I are really beginning to get the picture that we do not belong to this earth and are not settled here but rather we are nomads on this planet for our home is in Christ Himself and His body (which are one anyway) and ultimately in His heavenly kingdom, the full resurrection after this earthly life. So we have a six month lease and I wouldn’t at all be surprised if we have to move at that time or shortly after, although we’ll wait and see. It’s up to the Lord after all!

My mother has her own area of the house for herself but still allowing for interaction, our daughter has her own large bedroom, we have our ensuite and the three doggies are all very happy with so many trees to choose from! Ahhh….the God who meets all our needs 🙂

The most exciting thing for me and Derek on a practical level, is that we are now pretty much centre of the various geographical locations where the rest of the saints live, whom we are sharing community life with. Yay!! A big yay!!! This means we can be together more often, sharing a quick or lengthy drop-in coffee and chat, can pick each other up for gatherings, can more readily change venues if a hosting family has to cancel, and generally be much more available for body life. Just yesterday I was able to meet a sister for lunch at her favourite café and it was only a 15 minute drive at 60kms per hour instead of 40 minutes at 110ks! And how much easier this will be for our brothers and sisters than having to pack up their kids and travel out to the sticks where we used to be.

While we are still getting used to our new ‘temporary’ dwelling, with all its new sounds, smells and layout, still boxes to unpack etc (although we are continuing to cull) there is much the Lord has done in and shown us over this period of transition and I would like to share some of these with you over the next number of blog posts.  Here’s some of them….

  • Letting go & Not looking back
  • Taking the land for all it’s worth before HE moves us on
  • Letting go of anxiety and remaining in Rest – Christ as our Rest
  • God as a God of completion –the final day – the final hour
  • A place where the Son can lay His head

I’m not sure what order I’ll write these posts and whether or not more will arise or I will feel not to share some of them as the weeks of reflection go on, but I know the Lord has done significant work in both Derek and myself through all of this and so I want to wait on Him about what and how to share. I am still very much ruminating on what the Lord has done!

So until my next post, I hope you like the few pics of the new place, a picture of Christ as our Land of Refreshment (sorry they’re only taken on my iPhone so they’re only a reflection, not as crisp as The Real Life!)

Rammy big mulberry tree

mulberry tree arch

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi – Part 3 

For Part 1 & 2 of this post discussing the gifts of gold and frankincense, look under Shadows & Types of Christ and His Church on the Menu Bar.

We have already discussed how the gift of gold brought to Jesus in the manager by the Magi revealed Jesus as King and divine, and how it revealed the existence of the Bride of Christ (us!) talked about in the Book of Revelation.  We have also discussed how the gift of frankincense revealed the sacrifice of Jesus’ death on the cross. Now let’s take a look at the gift of myrrh.

Myrrh was also taken from a tree by the same manner.

Myrrh is a red gum-like resin taken from a thorny tree that to be harvested must be wounded repeatedly until it bleeds its resin. Gosh. Can’t we just see in this, the crown of thorns placed on Jesus’ head, continually wounding Him and causing blood to flow from His brow.

Myrrh is a bitter spice often mixed with wine and we know that at Golgotha, on His way to being crucified, Jesus was offered a bitter wine mixed with gall (another name for myrrh). We see here, the Lord’s suffering and affliction, represented by the bitterness of the myrrh. This mix of bitterness with the wine, as Jesus is the New Wine of the Second Covenant, can also reveal the life of the church. The church is called to join in the fellowship of His suffering. There is a bittersweet relationship of myrrh mixed with wine.

Not only is myrrh bitter but it is also used as anointing oil and for embalming. It is associated to the Balm of Gilead mentioned in Genesis 37:25 and Jeremiah 8:22 and 46:11).  Jesus is our balm for healing and anointing, as we read in these verses for the healing of God’s people, Israel, which we as the church, have now become.

So in the gift of myrrh, the wise men unwittingly symbolically announced not only the suffering of Christ by bearing the crown of thorns, the life of the church in the fellowship of His suffering but also Christ as healer, our Saviour, by His sacrifice we are saved! The myrrh was brought by the Magi to point all humanity to Christ as the healer of the nations!

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi – Part 2

For Part 1 of this post on the gift of GOLD, look under Shadows & Types of Christ and His Church on the Menu Bar.

We have already read how the gift of gold brought to Jesus in the manager by the Magi revealed Jesus as King and divine, and how it revealed the existence of the Bride of Christ (us!).  Let’s take a look at the gift of Frankincense.

Frankincense was a very valuable and key ingredient used in incense. Incense was used by the priests in the temple as they prayed on behalf of the nation of Israel. It speaks of the sacrificial prayers of the saints and the burning of frankincense in the tabernacle which was to continue day and night, never ceasing. So here we see the eternal sacrifice of Jesus as our High Priest in the order of Melchizedek, on behalf of all mankind. We see the sacrifice of Jesus as the pleasing aroma unto God, the “once and for all” eternal, sacrifice.

Keeping the word ‘sacrifice’ in mind, it is amazing to know that the means by which Frankincense was obtained is an astounding announcement of the Lord Jesus’ death. “Frankincense is a white resin or gum. It is obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out…” (http://www.gotquestions.org/gold-frankincense-myrrh.html).

Here we see Jesus (the Tree of Life) on a tree, the cross, being pierced for our transgressions. His hands, feet and his side being pierced until water and blood flowed from His side. Wow. The Tree of Life being pierced, incisions into His body on the cross, allowing this sacrificial, sweet smelling fragrance of His life, to flow out.

And what was born out of His side at this time? What came from Adam’s side? A wife! The Bride! The church! We are a sweet smelling aroma unto God! The birth of the church, was announced at Jesus’ birth by the wise men in the gift of frankincense!


 

The Prophetic Gifts of the Magi – Part 1

I’ve been working on this post since December!

We all know when Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem, that the wise men from the East, the Magi, brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.  But do we realise that these gifts were prophetic in nature? The gifts actually heralded three amazing things  –  1. Who Jesus is 2. The death of Jesus on the cross 3. The body of Christ as the church.

 

Gold was a highly valued material given to royalty. So here we see Jesus being declared as a royal King. The Magi were looking for the one whom they had been told was the King of the Jews and they appropriately brought him gold, just as King David and King Solomon were brought gifts of gold.

Gold also represented divinity as is seen in the building of the Ark of the Covenant and the tabernacle. When King Solomon built the temple as a dwelling place for God he used an even greater amount of gold than Moses. So here we see Jesus in the manger, being declared by the Magi as both King and Divine.

There is a heavenly city, the New Jerusalem, spoken of in the Book of Revelation. It is called the Bride – which is the Bride of Christ, the body of believers unto Christ. We know that every King has a Kingdom and we are the Kingdom of Christ. This glorious gold city is where God will once again dwell with man as He originally intended. It is made entirely of gold.

So the gold spoke not only of the man Jesus as King of the Jews but also of His eternal Kingdom which is the church, His body – us! 

Isn’t that incredible? We as believers unto Christ, were represented in the gold that the wise men presented to Jesus at His birth. Talk about already having been chosen in Him before creation!


 

 

The Tree

flickr

flickr

The tree needs branches to bear fruit

A head needs a body to express itself

God wants the church to express Himself

Jesus is the image of the invisible God.

He is the Tree of life –

The Vine tree.

Jesus is the Head of His church.

The church is the Body of Christ.

Jesus said “I am the Vine, you are the branches”,

unless you remain in the vine you cannot bear fruit.

Feasting on the Tree of Life

Wow – this is so beautifully written – a revelation the Lord has and continues to give to His people. I’m re-blogging it because I couldn’t have put it better. I pray that all who read it, receive the Lord’s Life from it. Thank you Cheryl, dear sister 🙂

Bread for the Bride

Bread for the Bride will be inactive for a couple of weeks while I take a short break away from home, but here is one from the archives I hope will bless you in the meantime!


alberoLike an apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down in his shade with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

(Song of Songs 2:3)

Come with me to a garden, a magnificent garden where it seems every plant, tree and creature radiates intense life.  In the middle of this vast garden a woman leans to pluck the fruit of a splendid looking tree that towers over all the other plants. Tentatively, she tastes the fruit, and seeing her obvious delight the man with her also tastes.  Their enchantment with the tree is short lived, however.  Soon the woman discovers she has been deceived and the…

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