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Archive for the ‘growth’ Category

Window Shopping

In believe, Bible, choices, Christ, faith, God, growth, Jesus, Scripture on October 3, 2009 at 2:03 pm

iStock-windowSmallOver the past few months I’ve been reading through the Gospels in my Bible. Starting with Matthew, I’ve read a chapter a day with a deliberate desire for God to reveal His Word to me in a fresh, new way.

By the time I reached the last verse of Luke 19, it dawned on me that God’s Word was so much more relevant and alive than all the times I had read the Gospels.

When this revelation fully manifested in my slow brain, I saw clearly that I had been ‘window-shopping’ through the most significant sections of my Bible.

“Oh, that’s neat,” I would say when reading how Jesus fed 5000+ people with a boy’s lunch.

“Huh, that’s cool,” I would mutter when I’d read that Peter got out of a boat and walked on water to Jesus.

I casually passed over these phenomenal acts of God’s Son with little more than a yawn and headed back to the Psalms where I could better relate to the ‘woe is me’, ‘please change my circumstances, Lord’  and ‘save me from my enemies!’ passages.

Don’t get me wrong, the Psalms are timeless writings of precious, heart-wrenching intimate moments of doomed souls crying out to God for salvation, deliverance, hope and healing. So why breeze through the four written accounts of God’s Answer to all those ancient pleas?

I am ashamed that I have merely glanced at the Gospels’ priceless treasure. In them is the path, the door, the key, the hope, the fruition of God’s promise to Abraham and all who would believe – by faith alone.

Now, I’m tearing apart my house like a crazed, madwoman who lost a valuable coin.  I’m selling everything I have to buy a field where I found a priceless pearl.

I finally get it.  The kingdom of heaven should be pursued.  It’s not history. It’s not a shopping expedition for what fits best into our lives.

It’s real. It’s here.

It’s mine.

Barren

In garden, God, growth, Jesus, obedience on September 24, 2009 at 12:36 pm

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That’s how he found it. He had planted the tree on his land hoping for an annual crop of tasty fruit. He nurtured it from a sapling, watered its ground, even talked to it.

His land was vast and he was pulled in different directions to tend all his gardens, vineyards, groves and crops, but this tree he loved most. When it’s season arrived, there was no fruit.

The farmer swallowed his disappointment, dug around its roots and fertilized it, saying, “This will help you bear fruit.” And another year passed. No fruit.

After the third year of no fruit, the farmer’s concern turned to frustration. After all he gave to this tree – more than any other tree, crop, vine or garden, it gave nothing in return.

In Christ we are called to bear fruit:

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control

(Galatians 5:22,23)

When God comes to you and looks at your life, will he find it barren, fruitless?  Jesus told this parable in Luke 13:6-9.  The gardener came to the tree and found it barren.  He said, “Cut it down, why does it use up ground?”  If you feel your life is barren and there is no sign of the ‘fruit’ listed above growing in your life, you are at risk!

But thanks be to God, our Advocate, Jesus Christ, says to His Heavenly Father on our behalf, “Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it. And if it bears fruit, well. But if it does not, after that you can cut it down.”

Thank You God for second chances!  Please help me allow you to grow this spiritual fruit in my life so that when You come to examine me, I will please You.