We were sitting the other day having our morning devotions and looking out the large picture window at the beautiful sunny morning we had been blessed with. In front of the window are some potted plants and a lovely yellow orchidea. The orchidea has 5 full blossoms and two more about to open. It is indeed a work of art. Only it is not the result of God’s amazingly artful creation, it’s the result of a clever Chinese entrepreneur. For you see, the orchidea is artificial!

Normally we don’t like to have artificial flowers in our house. We prefer the real thing. The trouble with real flowers is, sooner or later they die (especially the ones you buy on sale at the discount food retailer!) But even that is Godly. “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40:8)  “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.” (Psalm 103:15-16) [All Bible verses are from the KJV]

Artificial flowers can indeed be very beautiful, especially when viewed from a distance. And even when viewed close up, one can marvel at the talent of the artisan that designed it. So what’s the problem? They are sterile. They will never go to seed, and will never produce “much fruit”. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” (John 12:24) “And other fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred.” (Mark 4:8)

There are many people in the world who appear to be “religious”. They may even go to church faithfully each week. But they are nothing more than “artificial Christians”. They appear to be lovely on the outside, but do not bear any sort of fruit. Jesus addressed these types of people when He was exposing the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” (Matthew 23:27)

Jesus called His disciples to “go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature”. (Mk. 16:15) Don’t just be an “artificial Christian”! Be a disciple of Jesus Christ and bear much fruit for His Kingdom — souls saved forever by His grace! “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God!” (Ephesians 2:8) “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” (John 15:8)

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