KEY VERSE: Ezek 17:23 On the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bear branches and produce fruit and become a noble cedar. And under it will dwell every kind of bird; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest.
KEY THOT: Though Judah has broken the covenant that has resulted in its huge cedar tree cut down, nevertheless, God would cut off its top-most branch and transplant it on the “mountain height of Israel”. This is the prophecy of the Church that is rooted in Israel but now incorporates Gentiles who were once not considered the people of God. It’s not a repudiation of Israel, but a re-configuration of Israel to make room for a new branch to be grafted into it, producing a new cedar tree, the Church. It will be a fruitful tree, as witnessed by the fact that those who call upon the name of Christ today made up 1/3 of the world population.
God’s will for His kingdom is inevitable; even human weakness and failure cannot frustrate the ultimate triumph of His sovereign purpose. When God’s Plan A fails, God’s Plan B will not just be a restoration but a renovation that will include both the former plus greater glory and splendor. It’s God’s desire that all creation and all its inhabitants will not just be restored to its former glory but into something far greater—a new heaven and new earth. If we fail to carry out God’s Plan A, he will give us Plan B--a second chance to do something even greater if we obey Him this time.
I know that if I were ever to get my story mentioned in God’s final chapter of His yet-to-complete Book of Life (and not just a name listed in the appendices), it would be because I had played a small part as a branch of the giant cedar tree He is growing by producing new twigs and new leaves. So, my responsibility as a new twig brought into being in 1973 through the ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ is to grow my “downline”—to produce more twigs, leaves and fruits and thus “upgrade” myself to become a branch (manager) of the great cedar tree. And there is only one way to do it: invest my life in eternal treasures of saved people for God's kingdom.
If on the other hand, I choose to invest my entire life in the self-seeking pursuit of things that will not last beyond our lifetime, then I’m by definition a dead wood—and the Father might decide to cut me off: “I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me” (John 15:1-2, NET).
In partnership with Alpha Singapore, my wife and I have just launched a new ministry for single adults (Christian and non-Christian) called Alpha Mingle. I see it as a means to reach non-Christian single adults through Christian single adults by organizing programs that are meaningful to both--activities that meet the real spiritual, personal and social needs of single adults. [“Mingle” is a contraction of “MINistry to sinGLE”.]
Father, what a privilege to be aligned with Your kingdom purpose and get my story written in Your Book of Life, even it is just a one-paragraph mention. May I always do what You are blessing. Amen.