Wednesday, March 7, 2012

God's Garden

Isaiah 61:3 – “…They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

I’m not sure if Spring is “officially” here – but I can see the evidence of its arrival with all the wonderful trees and flowers in bloom. It’s the time of year that shows off the hard work of all the gardeners who took the time to plant.

Anyone who has a green thumb (which I unfortunately do NOT), knows that it takes a lot of work to plant and cultivate a healthy, thriving garden that produces a good crop.  I’m very limited in my knowledge of gardening, but a couple of things seem pretty clear even to me: 
1)    You get exactly what you plant – you don’t plant apple seeds and expect pears

2)    While the quality of the crop depends on a variety of things, it must start with good seeds.
The Bible has a lot to say about seeds…most importantly it speaks of the “incorruptible seed” …of good quality that cannot be destroyed, never fails, and never ends.

·        Luke 8:11 says the seed is the Word of God

·        1 Peter 1:23 states this seed endures forever

·        Gal. 3:16 declares Jesus is the seed (who is also known as the Word)

·        1 John 3:9 proclaims that the seed (Jesus) lives inside of you if you are born again.

·    Matt. 13:38 says we are good seeds in the Kingdom of God
·        Gal. 3:29 explains we are Abraham’s seed and therefore heirs according to the promise
·        Matt. 13:31 uses a mustard seed to describe the Kingdom of God. Jesus is the seed that was sown, and we are the field. This seed was small at first, but has the promise of growth and great value.
·        Matt. 17:20 says that we only need faith like a mustard seed to speak to our mountain and see it move!
So we see that Jesus and the Word are both incorruptible seed that lives inside of everyone who’s born again. Furthermore, through this same seed, we are heirs of a great inheritance and members of a good Kingdom – a Kingdom that will continue to grow, along with our faith (even though it may have started out as small as a mustard seed).
A Gardening Lesson from the Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13):

In the natural, gardening can be tricky. It depends on protection from the birds and wildlife stealing your seed before it has a chance to take root. You need to prepare your soil so it’s healthy and soft, not hard and rocky. You must rely on the hope of good weather, protection against both freezing conditions or extreme heat and drought.   

In comparison, spiritually speaking – to produce the “fruit” that is described in Gal. 5:22, you must protect yourself from predators of the truth that would come to steal your seed. You need to keep the seed of the Word from being exposed to the harmful elements that would try to destroy your faith. Most importantly, you should make sure you prepare the soil of your heart to receive this incorruptible seed.

Now here is the most exciting part for me as I think about God’s gardening skills…
Isaiah 55:10-11 – “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

My NKJ Study Bible notes explain this passage like this: “God’s promises and plans (words) are as sure of fulfillment as the fact that it rains and snows.”

I have learned that the Word of God can be trusted – it is indeed incorruptible seed. If this perfect seed is sown into a heart “with good soil, it WILL produce the harvest or result it was sent to accomplish.

As you enjoy the beauty and color of the blooming flowers and trees this Spring, may it be a reminder that YOU are God’s garden. He planted His greatest seed, Jesus, in your heart. By yielding to His Spirit, you will produce good fruit for His glory.

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