Saturday, May 19, 2007
On a recent mission to Belize we came across the Poisonwood tree on a hike in the jungle. From its name you will understand why it is a tree not to be messed with. The sap of the poisonwood is extremely toxic and causes blisters and rashes on the skin. The sap can be seen oozing out of any wounds on the bark of the tree. The leaves of the tree are also toxic topically, and some who are extremely allergic to the tree can break out by standing too close to it.
Fortunately, it is often found growing near its natural antidote. Our guide told us that invariably almost always growing near the poisonwood tree is the Gum Elemi tree and the crushed leaves of the Gum Elemi will ease the itch and burn.
So in the gospel. You and I have been affected by the poison of sin. But thank God the antidote to sin is not far from any one of us. That is what we find in the book of Romans: "But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved." (Romans 10:8,9). So the Word is near us not distant, mysterious or inaccessible, but readily available and accessible to all. Have you availed yourself of the antidote to sin in the blood of Jesus?