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  • Writer's pictureMarji Stevens

Split in Two - Is Our Lampstand in Place?

There's a massive oak tree on the corner of Plains Road and 15a. It's hundreds and hundreds of years old. During the last windstorm, this historic beauty was drastically split in two.

I visited the tree after I heard about it and the scene drove me to tears. People have loved and cared for this tree for centuries. I plucked this leaf off a broken branch and tucked it into my Bible for safekeeping.

This morning on the swing I opened my Bible and was startled to see the crimson red leaf was now brown! It looked dead.

My heart stirred because I sensed the Lord was about to speak to me.

"Hold it up."

I held the leaf up and to my amazement, the light turned the leaf back to its original color.

My first thought was: Without Christ my life is dull - I'm nothing apart from Him.

Then the Lord prompted me to go to look up the church in Revelations that were at risk of having their lampstand removed. That's the capacity to hold the light.

It was the church at Ephesus. "I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. and you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars, and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary.

"Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent" (Revelations 2:2-5 NKJV).

Consider all the good things Ephesus did - what a good testimony! But, without a personal, vital, living relationship with Christ, we become empty works without the light of His life. Consider the timing of this massive tree experiencing this tragedy! I hear a prophetic word buried in its broken branches.

Our nation is being split right down the middle. Our history is under attack. Our principles and the richness of our inheritance is being threatened by the winds of anti-American sentiments and hatred.

There was something about this tree that seemed unmoveable, permanent, but there was rot on the inside of the sections that fell,

We've heard the expression "draining the swamp", but I hear a question: "Church, have you lost your first love?" Just like the oak leaf without the sunlight, we cannot survive without the light of Christ. Just like the salt that loses its savor, we lose our color without the light of God's presence.

I wept as I identified with the Scripture. I could see it in myself . . .

We have to ask ourselves, is there rot in our limbs of influence? Have we lost our first love? The only way to know is to hold up our life to the Light of His Truth and let Him show u

Lord, I lift myself up to You. Shine Your light into my heart. Search me and know my heart. See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Restore to me the vibrancy and passion of my first love.


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