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The other day while out running errands, I was listening to a minister on the radio. He was talking about “weeds” growing in your garden. That got me to thinking about what we should have growing in our gardens. I have never planted a vegetable garden personally. I would love to, but have never had a plot of land big enough to do so, but my grandparents always had a huge garden every summer. It was out between their home and grandpa’s gas station. One of their friends would plow up the earth with a tractor to get the ground ready to receive the seeds. I know from that yearly experience that planting, growing and harvesting a garden takes a lot of care and attention. You can’t just plant the seeds and then sit back and wait for the produce to magically appear on your dinner table. No, it takes a lot of attention and work, or the weeds, critters, and insects will take over. As I was thinking about these thoughts, I began to realize our Christian life is like a garden. The Bible tells us in 2 Cor 6:4-7
“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in sincere love; in truthful speech . . .” (NIV)
Our Christian garden should be full of patience, kindness, love, understanding and truth. We also know that “when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; “ Gal 5: 22-23 TLB
But just as a vegetable garden needs attention, so does our Christian garden. If we fail to tend our garden it will be overtaken with weeds of pride, envy and hatred. Protect your garden from an infestation of greed, untruthfulness and foolishness. Drive out the critters of immorality and slander. In Mark 7 verse 20-22 we read “And He said, What comes out of a man is what makes a man unclean and renders [him] unhallowed. “For from within, [that is] out of the hearts of men, come base and wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, stealing, murder, adultery, Coveting (a greedy desire to have more wealth), dangerous and destructive wickedness, deceit; unrestrained (indecent) conduct; an evil eye (envy), slander (evil speaking, malicious misrepresentation, abusiveness), pride ( the sin of an uplifted heart against God and man), foolishness (folly, lack of sense, recklessness, thoughtlessness).” AMP In addition to keeping out the unwanted things in a vegetable garden it must also be nourished or it will die. The same holds true for our Christian garden as well. We must water our garden with the Holy Spirit and defend it with God’s Truth. Don’t forget to cover your garden with daily prayer for God’s intervention, protection and guidance. When we do these things our harvest will be abundant. “For this very reason make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these things are yours and abound, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:4-8 RSV
So again, I ask what’s growing in your garden? Does your garden need some attention? I know mine does. To close I want to include this poem from the book “A Forever Friend”
First, plant six rows of “peas”
Praise, Patience, Preparedness,
Promptness, Perseverance, Politeness.
Then plant five rows of “lettuce”
Let us be faithful.
Let us be loyal.
Let us be truthful.
Let us be unselfish.
Let us love one another.