Kudzu was first brought from Japan to the US in 1876 and promoted as an ornamental plant and a cure for erosion. However, the hot, humid summers, mild winters and lack of natural predators allowed kudzu to take off like gang-busters. (That a highly technical word for "a lot" [Grin]) Now it's listed as a "pest weed" and costs around $500 million annually in lost cropland and control costs. (Source: Wikipedia) While they help prevent erosion, the vines can also destroy valuable forests by preventing trees from getting sunlight. And they take over EVERYTHING! (Just check out the car in the picture. Yes, that's a car!)
This is what I thought of when I read part of John 12 today. Listen to these verses:
"But the chief priests planned to put Lazarus to death also; because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and were believing in Jesus." (John 12:10-11 NASB)How do I associate kudzu with these verses? Well, it's actually pretty easy - sin grows! In yesterday's reading we hear Caiaphas, the high priest that year, say, "... it is expedient for you that one man die for the people..." (John 11:50b NASB) Now they've gone from wanting to kill ONE man to planning to kill TWO! All in just one chapter! Sin grows!
This week we've been dealing with the issue of breaking yokes in our lives. On Sunday one of the yokes we talked about that keeps us back from serving God fully is sin. Others included bitterness, selfishness, religion, habits, addictions, etc. There are lots of things that can keep us back from serving God the way we long to. But if we never deal with them, the yoke will actually grow and become more heavy. (I probably should have written "heavier" there - but "more heavy" sounded more ominous! [Grin])
Once you've identified the yokes in your life and brought them to Jesus, it's time to OUTGROW them by doing what Jesus tells us to do. In our Community Groups notes this week I've asked you to share what steps the Lord has given you to deal with them, so that they can help you remain accountable. I hope that's going well for you.
So how about it? Are you dealing with the yokes in your life? Or are they growing? Because they will grow, left untended. And they'll be more than a pest weed. They'll actually consume your life! Let's Deal With It! ... Together! Don't forget to leave me a comment or send me an email about what God is doing in your life! I love hearing from you!
P.S. Here are a couple of other devotional resources you might enjoy from others who are participating in the 21 Days of Consecration (also called "Awakening"):