Monday, May 20, 2013

God’s Springtime Garden

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Wild blooms grow amongst the ones that I have planted.

Have you ever felt like this flower?

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Trying to survive in a rocky place? Reaching down in a narrow crevice searching for fertile soil in which to grab ahold of in order to survive and grow?

 

Matthew 13...

Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

13 Later that same day Jesus left the house and sat beside the lake. 2 A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat. Then he sat there and taught as the people stood on the shore. 3 He told many stories in the form of parables, such as this one:
“Listen! A farmer went out to plant some seeds. 4 As he scattered them across his field, some seeds fell on a footpath, and the birds came and ate them. 5 Other seeds fell on shallow soil with underlying rock. The seeds sprouted quickly because the soil was shallow. 6 But the plants soon wilted under the hot sun, and since they didn’t have deep roots, they died. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns that grew up and choked out the tender plants. 8 Still other seeds fell on fertile soil, and they produced a crop that was thirty, sixty, and even a hundred times as much as had been planted! 9 Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Where we live it is difficult to grow many things. Trees dominate the skyline, blocking much of the sunlight.
Rocks dominate the ground, and with the roots from the trees they pretty much choke everything else out.
So, when I see these wild violets popping up each spring in every crevice around the yard, as well as on the woodland trails…I am encouraged by their tenacity!

19 The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts. 20 The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. 21 But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. 22 The seed that fell among the thorns represents those who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life and the lure of wealth, so no fruit is produced. 23 The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

The above parable explains the idea of what good soil is. I believe that good soil can be found even amongst the rocks and thorns and other difficult things that grow in our world...It just takes a bit more care in order for those seeds to survive...but it can be done...
with a lot of weeding, and digging, and heavy lifting!
God proves that he is able to do what seems difficult or even impossible...he shows us that there is good soil everywhere he plants a seed and it grows fruit...For Him it is an easy task.

The value of the Word of God...
Many people consider these flowers weeds…because they grow so vigorously, often taking up space where some people would rather plant more “cultivated” flowerbeds…But I like the wild flowers the best!…They are free and they are abundant, and are completely given to us from God himself!
But because they are free and abundant, should they lose their value?
I don’t think so!
But don’t we sometimes devalue the Word of God, His everyday blessings and even the gift of Jesus because they are free and abundant also?
Sadly, we sometimes do.
I remember a time when the church was praying for the provision of Bibles to the former Soviet Union when the Berlin wall was torn down…The people did not have many, because for decades they had been forbidden  to own a Bible…The people were hungry…starving for the Word of God…Those Bibles became the most valuable possession for many people.
At the same time, through the American Civil Liberties Union (the ACLU) the United states was developing legislature against the personal use of Bibles in public schools as well as forbidding prayer (not only corporate prayer,but personal prayer, like one that might be included in a graduation speech.) There were also cases popping up and continuing today, where symbols of our Christian faith are no longer allowed because an individual might feel offended by a Nativity display in their town, or even the sight of a steeple with a cross, which was the case in a Michigan town recently!..The church removed the steeple.

Here is the shocking story that made headlines around the world 3 years ago:
http://www.mlive.com/news/muskegon/index.ssf/2010/06/spring_lakes_christ_community.html
Unfortunately, 3 years later this is not so shocking anymore as this started a trend that continues to grow today. Soon it may be commonplace.

but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
(1 Cor. 1:23)

So, where am I going with this? I am encouraging all my fellow Christians to do something right where you are…Grow!
Let the Word of God allow you to thrive amidst the rocks!
Branch out in spite of the deep roots that have overtaken the soil of your heart…And let the SONshine nourish and sustain you even though there seems to be nothing but dark clouds on the horizon lately!
Dig deeper into the Word of God, and even though it is free and abundant…value it as though it might be taken away from you at any time…First, hide His Holy Word deep within the fertile soil of your heart, and weed out whatever may try to intrude upon it’s growth. But don't allow it to stay hidden there.
And if there is anyone reading this today who has not made the decision to accept Jesus into their heart yet…Jesus is calling you to walk with Him through the garden of your heart…
Just like the angel rolled away the heavy stone sealing the tomb where Jesus' body once laid…Roll away those rocks that keep your spirit entombed in a state of death and decay…for on the other side is LIFE and healing.
And remember this: Just like with the seeds in the garden, In order for there to be growth…something in you must first die…The seed of God’s Word is Jesus. His death and burial was necessary in order for your spirit to come to life with Him in His resurrection…
Your old self, (what the Bible calls the 'old man’ ) will be changed into something new…A new creation in Christ. But first, you must lay down your pride, humble yourself and admit that you have sinned…
We are all born with a sinful nature, a nature that would rather pursue selfish pleasure instead of learning and living the way that God teaches us to live…This began in that first garden long ago, when the first man and woman disobeyed God and chose to listen to the lies of the enemy of God (Satan) instead of their Creator.
The only way this transformation can take place for you is if you accept the free gift that Jesus is offering you…His payment for your sins was death upon a cross…he did that so that you could live for all eternity in God’s heaven, instead of in the torment of hell…
The fact that he rose from the grave…was proof of His claim to be the Son of God…He is seated at God’s right hand now, but He has given each Christian the gift of the Holy Spirit…This indwelling Spirit is what transforms us from mere mortals, into the Children of God.
Springtime is a good time for believers to grow, and for unbelievers to consider renewal. It is a time for lives to begin, and blossoms to be seen everywhere…
So, now that you have been cultivating the Word growing and thriving within your heart...It will soon be harvest time!
Take the Word of God and display it in and around your home, or on your car or at your desk or workplace. Write it on your outgoing mail…include it in your everyday conversations…But most importantly live it…Let others see the beauty of a Christ centered life displayed in your daily conduct…your attitude, the way you react to those hard things around you…Shine the light of God’s Word into the overshadowed corners of your world and watch as new blooms start to appear where only emptiness was before.
Even if you are already doing these things...look for ways to do even more...

He told them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

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This geranium plant represents all stages of life...The dried blooms, the new buds, as well as the full bloom, even the seeds are hidden inside the plant...They guarantee future growth.
Even when death is all around us…We can focus on the beauty of life and the hope of a resurrection day!

~God Bless, and remember, we are…
~NEVER FORSAKEN~

12 comments:

  1. Hi Lisa,
    Nice flower pictures.
    Father created us all to be unique and we all have gifts. We should glorify God in all we do even if it seems small and insignificant t, He wants to use all of us right where we are doing what we are doing.

    While my kids and I trained and competed in taekwondo, we used this martial art to glorify God. We prayed publicly and witnessed where we were and fought with honour and dignity. It was a very powerful testimony in and amongst non believers.

    This link provided brought sorrow to my heart, yet I am not shocked to read it as this is happening!! I was just reading an email from a friend who told me that she attended church yesterday and it was so gimmicky. They were even trying to get people to attend by giving away prizes. :( Jesus is not happy with this sort of thing. No wonder we are in the state we are in.

    Come Lord Jesus, we are awaiting Your arrival.

    Blessing hon,
    <><

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    1. Hi Sweetie,

      I have always tried to steer clear of those gimmicky things!
      The Bible says that Jesus will draw all men to himself...no gimmick.

      Cool that your family competed in teakwondo!

      I have nothing against a church that is inviting to all people, but to compromise in order to get more in the door...what do they teach them once they are inside?...obviously they do not teach them the true gospel!...wolves in sheep's clothing.

      Yes, we are waiting for Him to deliver us home!

      ~God bless~

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  2. I just loved this post in so many ways. It's interesting - the older I get, the more I love and appreciate the Word of God. Nothing brings me more encouragement, comfort, and guidance. And yes, we must treat it with the utmost value.

    GOD BLESS!

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    1. Hi Sharon,
      Yes, when we are young we often rely more on our own strengths, but when that begins to fade...we lean more on Jesus...What a blessing it is to rest in His strength instead of to struggle on our own!
      Priceless!
      ~God bless~

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  3. Amen, amen. Bless you for this wonderful inspiration my friend. I love you.

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    1. Hi Denise,

      Thank you Denise...I love you too, my friend!
      ~God bless~

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  4. Hi Lisa,
    Your post is beautiful, and I love the wild violet. I grew two oak trees from acorns and put them in individual containers to keep them small. Both of them have wild violets growing around them in these pots. This reminds me of believers who may be struggling sheltering in the strength of the Lord.
    As regards to the group that removed the cross. How can the cross be a negative thing if it is a reminder that in Jesus our sins are nailed to it? I do not wear a cross around my neck because I have a set of gold keys on a chain, eight of them, five have the letters J e s u s on the end of them, and three have a heart. However I believe that people who are offended by the cross are people who are offended by Christianity. The fact that this group of people are called C3 Exchange brings a dangerous possibility to my mind. The possibility of Christians (C) who Exchange the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (3) for something else. God bless you

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    1. Hi Brenda,

      I love the idea of the oak trees sustaining the wild violets, like Jesus sheltering believers.
      You made a very good observation there with that church's new name...It is eerie, but makes sense...When the pastor of the church said that they recieved no negative feedback about it, you know that is a blatant lie...another sign that the father of all lies is heading that ungodly church!
      Yes, the cross is an offense to those who hate Jesus, and so is the name of Jesus, and the Bible too.

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  5. Nice post full of God's wisdom...the violet reminds me to bloom where we are planted. We are to show Gods love and be content where ever we may be. I bet that little violets gets more response than a pot of violets.:)

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    1. Hi Dee,

      When we moved up here it took me several years to really accept living here...I was a city girl...still am to a degree. Sometimes I still wonder why I am so far away from the busyness of family and people all around...but this is where God has planted me, and I know he knows best...so I am like that wild violet, blooming where I am...This lesson was for me as well as for whomever else. I suppose if I were a potted violet I would not have as much desire to reach beyond the pot!
      ~God bless~

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  6. Hi Lisa,
    I absolutely love this post. Wow, today I posted a new post which referenced the seeds which fell among the thorns and also spoke of how we are a new creation in Christ. I think it is pretty cool when this happens. It is like God is making sure to bring something to my attention.

    I find it interesting what you said about good soil can be found among the rocks and thorns. I have never really thought of this parable in this way, but I like what you said. I suppose for all of us, there are many things which may distract us from God, so in a since, we are all among the rocks and thorns. We must hold tight to God's Word, and rejoice in His presence.

    Another point, it is so disheartening to here of those who water down the Gospel and are more concerned about pleasing man than God. Hearing the Word of God is critical for one to come to faith in Christ. If we refuse to share the truth about God's Word, we are doing a disservice to those who come to the church.

    Blessings,
    Ken

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  7. I absolutely love this parable Lisa; what a beautifully written post! I was in a Bible study about a year ago and we read "Rooted in Good Soil" which has had a lasting affect on how our authentic faith is the result of careful tending and good growing conditions. True belief takes root in good soil! Love, love all the pictures!

    Blessings and lots of love sweet friend!
    Denise

    ReplyDelete

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