Tulips, daffodils and cheery blossomed trees, SPRING. Can I hear an AMEN! With it brings, spring cleaning, garage sales and garden plotting. For many of us, we may not have a green thumb even though we find ourselves standing in the garden center of Home Depot staring at the veggie plants with lofty dreams of luscious gardens.
To have a healthy garden, you need healthy soil. Jesus spoke of this in Luke chapter 8, the Parable of the farmer, the seed and the dirt (DeDe’s paraphrase) He spoke of four different ‘garden spots’ each representing the human heart and how it hears and responds to the seed, which is the word of God. First is the indifferent heart, the seed falls on the path, it is trampled down and doesn’t grow, basically becomes bird food. ‘Wayside hearers’ allow the seed to be easily snatched away. Second is the inconsistent heart, seed landing in the rocky ground, they believe for a while, they begin to sprout, but they don’t really allow their roots to go deep, they are great beginners, yet not good ‘finishers.’ Their results? They soon dry up and die. Third, the distracted heart, seed landing in the weed area, so many weeds, worries and even pleasures which eventually chokes life right out of them. Then, the fourth, the devoted heart, the one who hears the word, clings to it, nurtures and watches it mature in their life.
The well tended healthy soil.
The Lord showed me a picture how we can help in the ‘gardening process’ of someone’s life. We are called to affect and impact others by our words, attitudes and actions, being the word of God to them. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a great word of knowledge, or pulling out the 4 Spiritual Laws, it may be a simple heartfelt word of encouragement. As Paul exhorts, “…speech as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace to those who hear it.” (Eph. 4:29) What we say or do may just be what that person needs to help rake over and remove some rocks in their heart. John wrote: “Let us stop just saying we love people; let us really love them, and show it by our actions.” (1 John 3:18)
Remembering a few years ago, I pulled my car up to get gas, it was a chilly and windy day. The poor attendant shuffling up, opening my window I caught the smell of ‘breakfast’ at the nearby Jack in the Box. After paying for my gas, I felt the Lord say “Go buy him breakfast.” So I drove over and did just that and took it back and handed it to him. With a surprised look, he said “What is this for?” I told him “Just because and pass on the kindness and God loves YOU.” “THANKS!” He exclaimed. As I drove away I prayed for him and for the next God-lover who comes through his line, that they too would share God’s love boldly. We are used of God in His orchestrating events in other people’s’ lives, IF we are obedient. I may have just helped till his ground and perhaps pull a few weeds. We never know the heart condition of those who cross our path. The attendant’s heart, or might I say, his soil now ready (or more ready) for the Word, the life changing Word. The next person shares their testimony along with the gospel, he might, just might hear it with a lil bit less rocky ears.
So we can have a HOLY green thumb, planting kindness and love, God’s word in ACTION. Did God love the gas attendant enough to send me to buy him breakfast? YES! Did God love me enough to speak a word for me to obey? Yes!
Here’s a challenge, while out eating, just before you bow your head, when the food server brings your meal, tell them you are about to pray and ask them if there is anything you could pray for, for THEM. (I have never had someone turn me down.) Pulling weeds and removing a few rocks.
Have a great God-loving, green thumb gardening week.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)
Dogwood and Golden Chain trees, tulips and more frequent appearances of the sun. SPRING. Can I hear an AMEN! With it brings… spring cleaning, garage sales, and for some that dreaded hay fever. For many of us, we find ourselves standing in the garden center of Home Depot staring at the veggie plants and dream of a luscious bounty … tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and strawberries.
My thumb does not naturally carry a shade of green, but I do enjoy gardening. I have my shovel, rake, hoe and tomato cages all ready to go. Also, the green and yellow bag of Miracle Grow garden soil.
To have a healthy garden – you need healthy soil. I am reminded of the parable Jesus spoke of in Luke chapter 8, the farmer, the seed, the dirt (DeDe’s paraphrase) He spoke of 4 different “garden spots” each representing the human heart and the seed, which is the word of God.
1st was the indifferent heart (v5) seed that got trampled and eaten by birds.
2nd the inconsistent heart (v6) seed planted in shallow and rocky ground.
3rd the distracted heart (v7) seed landing in thistles and crowded ground.
4th the devoted heart (v8) seed that fell on well tended healthy soil.
The Lord showed me a picture recently how we can help in the “gardening process” of someone’s life. We are called to affect and impact others by our words, attitudes and actions. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a great word of knowledge, or pulling out the 4 Spiritual Laws, it may be a simple heart felt smile to the cashier at the store, with a genuine “how is your day going?” What we say or do may just be what that person needs to help rake over and remove some rocks in their heart, so when someone DOES come in behind you and shares the love of Christ or a verse or two they have a ready …healthy safe place to put it.
Not long ago I pulled my SUV up to get gas, it was a chilly and windy day. The poor attendant shuffled up to my rig, as I opened the window I caught the smell of “breakfast” at the near by Jack in the Box. I told him “oh… now that smells good” and the attendant eagerly responded with “yes, and it’s driving me crazy.” After paying for my gas, I felt the Lord say “go buy him breakfast.” So I drove over and did just that, and took it back and handed it to him. His surprised look was priceless, he said “what is this for” I told him “just because.. and pass on the kindness, God Bless.” As I drove away I prayed for him, and for the next Christian who comes through his line, that they would share Jesus’ love boldly. Perhaps when someone asks him, ‘May I share a verse with you?” he would be open, ready.
I had just helped “till his ground” and mix in “miracle grow” with kindness. His heart may not be indifferent, inconsistent or distracted anymore. Yes, it is HIS responsibility to tend his own soil, but I helped. I helped the seed to fall on what may now or soon be healthy soil. We never know the condition of someone’s heart.
So we CAN have a holy green thumb, planting kindness, love and a helping hand. God’s word in ACTION. Did God love the gas attendant enough to send me to buy him breakfast? ~ YES!
How is your gardening skills… do you need to brush up on your raking techniques, or buy a pair of gloves if you are concerned about getting dirty. Don’t forget to check your hoe, so it is not too sharp. The Holy Spirit will use us to touch others.
Have a great God-loving, garden tilling week.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” ~ Heb. 10:24)