Coloring the Lily

Coloring the Lily

Texts

I am the true vine . . . and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit (John 15:1-2). I am the vine, ye are the branches . . . without me ye can do nothing (John 15:5).

Purpose of the Illustration

  1. To show that when we have Christ's life and power flowing through us, we become like Him.

  2. To point out that when we live in sin, our hearts draw up the vileness of evil.

Apparatus

  1. At least four white lilies with short stems.

Chemicals

  1. A bottle each of the following colors of ink: red, black, green and royal blue. You may substitute other colors, but be sure to include red and black. Or you may use as many colors of ink as you desire. The more varia­tion in color, the better the illustration will be.

Method of Procedure

  1. Set the bottles of ink in a row so that the audi­ence can see them plainly. Take off the caps or stoppers.

  2. Cut the stems of the lilies short so that the flowers will stand in the ink bottles.

  3. Put a flower in each bottle.

Chemical Reaction

  1. The lily by its own chemical process draws up through its veins the color of the ink in which it is standing. By using different colors you may easily have a very beautiful display of colored lilies.

Cautions

  1. If your lilies have large petals, the bottles of ink should be set in some kind of rack so they will not upset. Ink spilled on pulpit and floor is not very good for the experiment and is embarrassing for the experimenter.

  2. Watch your fingers and clothing, for the ink is easily spread around.

  3. Use washable inks if they are available.

The Christian life is sustained by abiding in Christ. Jesus said that He is the vine and we are the branches, and if we remain connected to the vine we bear fruit, and live. But when we are cut or broken off we wither and die and are worthless.

These bottles of ink represent different things. This bottle of ink stands for the lifeblood of Jesus, and the others represent various conditions and forces which people must meet in their daily lives.

I am going to let these lilies represent Christian persons—young and old. Lilies are white, and illustrate the fact that Christians have had their hearts made white, cleansed by the blood of Jesus. God says He will blot out the blackness of our iniquities. "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow," is the divine promise.

Whiteness is purity, and the lily is life made white by Christ's power within.

This bottle of black ink represents sin, for evil is always black and vile. The other colors represent different worldly influences.

As I place these lilies, all of them white, in the various bottles, you see they soon begin to draw into their veins the colors of the ink in which they are living. See, the red flows through the veins. And here the black is beginning to discolor this white lily. The same is true of the green and blue.

What has happened? In the lily's structure is an arrangement of cells which draws up by a chemical process the liquid on which the flower feeds. It works chemically with the swiftness of an automatic pump. The lily cannot drive the fluid out of its veins. It is so made that it must draw it in.

Christians are the same way. By abiding in Christ, we feed upon His strength, the power of His own life. We drink from the fountain that is in Him. His blood sustains us and He makes us like Himself. We are to be white lilies with His blood running through our spiritual veins.

Look at the lily that is standing in the black ink. The blackness has gone through the lily's veins and discolored it. When a Christian lives in sin, is surrounded daily by evil, and chooses to associate with sinful companions, it is not long until the blackness of this environment or association shows in his life, and his heart becomes black. The process is gradual but cer­tain in the end.

Take this royal blue ink and the lily in it. Blue stands for true-heartedness, and this Christian lily in the blue ink represents a Christian true to the Church, true to Christ with a spiritual testimony of what the Master has done for him. See how the blue   runs through the lily's veins. If you would be a true-hearted

Christian live in a Christian atmosphere. Fill your mind with holy thoughts by reading the Bible, by prayer and taking part in the kingdom's work.

This is the life God would have us live. Children, if you would grow up as bright Christians, sons of God, let Jesus sustain your life, let Him be your Friend and Saviour, and live each day so that He can send His power into your soul as the red color is drawn into the lily.

In the Bible Joseph chose God and the right way. He lived as a Christian, where God could bless him. He drank in the red of right doing; but his brothers drank from the black bottle of sin, and in the end Joseph was the man used of God, while his brothers were not so blessed.

The contrast is also seen in Jacob and Esau. Jacob took the right way, and Esau took the wrong way. Jacob had trouble and fought evil, but after he met God and was changed by the divine presence coming into his life he lived throughout his days "as a prince (who had) power with God and men," and his race of children became God's chosen people who gave Christ to the world.

So you must stand in the well of Christ's being. Plant your feet in the fountain of everlasting life and then you will draw strength and life from Him.

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