Saturday, August 06, 2016

How Being a Good Christian is A lot Like Being a Good Gardener

One of my favorite times of year is spring. I love getting outside after the long winter and cleaning up my flowerbeds. Seeing the tulips, lilies, and crocuses coming up really makes my day! As any gardener knows, flowerbeds are a lot of work. If you don't spend time in them every day, the weeds will take over and choke out all of your flowers. I think pulling weeds is actually very therapeutic. It makes me feel great to be out in the sunshine and keeping the weeds out of my flowerbeds gives the flowers roots more room to grow. My flowers get bigger and more beautiful every year.
Being a good Christian is much the same. A new Christian is as beautiful as the new spring flowers. But if they don't spend time with God every day, praying and reading his word, the weeds of the world will get in the way and choke out the joy of the Lord. Spending time talking to God and reading the bible can help keep the weeds out of your life and keep the grace of God in.
In the book of Matthew, chapter 13, Jesus tells the parable of the sower. He tells of a farmer scattering his seed on the land. Some of it falls on the path and the birds eat it. Other seeds fall on rocky places where there is not a lot of dirt and so they don't have good roots and the die. More seeds fall among thorns, which grew and choked them out. The last of the seeds fall on good soil and produce many times what was sown (vs. 1-9).
Jesus then explains the parable to the disciples. He says that when anyone hears the message about God and the kingdom of heaven, and does not understand it, the devil comes and takes it away from his heart. He is like the seed on the path. The one who is like the seed in the rocky place is the one who hears the word and receives it right away, but since he does not have good roots, when trouble or persecution comes, he falls away. The one who is like the seed in the thorns is the one who hears the word, but the worries of the world and the love of money choke it out. The last is the one who receives the word and understands it. He is the one who prospers (vs. 18-23).
Every gardener know that if you want your flowers to grow and be beautiful year after year, they have to be planted in the right soil and tended daily. Great care will result in a beautiful flowerbed. In the same way, spending time with God every day will make you a beautiful, healthy Christian with good roots that can last forever.

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