Monday, March 28, 2011

Planting Roses, Getting Weeds

Galatians 6: 7 “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

I am not much of a gardener. I usually identify flowers are by their colors such as “Oh, those are purple flowers”. When the roses I planted did not grow but weeds sprouted instead, I assumed it must have been the fertilizer or the plant food that I used. I believed it was probably the wrong kind for those roses. The right fertilizer and food provides needed nutrients to the plants, but the wrong kind or the wrong amount can kill the plants. That is so like our soul.

How do we feed our soul? By sitting in front of the television, reading books and magazines that lead us to less than stellar thoughts, surfing the Net, or other such activities. While none of these activities is bad or wrong by themselves, it is when we pursue activities before spending anytime sowing what we need spiritually that causes the problem. We have put in the wrong food, fertilized with a bad mixture.

A poorly maintained soul is a weed paradise. Jeremiah 12:13a says, “They will sow wheat but reap thorns.” Neglecting your soul leads to loss of joy, a strained, disconnected relationship with our heavenly father. The enemy is always ready and working to destroy the fruits of our labor for Christ and we so often help him. We know that whatever we sow, we reap—and still we sin!

Do not despair. There is hope. We can sow roses and reap roses. God wants nothing more than His best for us. God's will for His children is to be blessed and for His children to be a blessing. However, we have to do our part. We have to feed and fertilize with what is good, what is true, what is right. That means we have to put our quiet time with God above everything else, above what seems to be most pressing on us. We need to make wise choices, be mindful of what goes in our ears and eyes. We need to feast on God’s word. We need to pray and draw close to Him.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I want to sow roses, not weeds. Help me to be mindful of what food and fertilizer I am using on my soul. I know that gardens need constant weeding to be healthy. Please weed my soul’s garden so that I may grow in you. Amen.

Digging Deeper: Isaiah 1:19, 2 Corinthians 9:6, Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, Galatians 6:9

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Might Tongue

Ephesians 4:29 “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Do you know that the tongue never rests? I am talking about everyone’s tongues, not just the jabber jaws that seem to talk non-stop. This part our anatomy is made up of different muscles, which help us to taste, swallow, talk and helps to fight germs. The tongue is busy. Even when we sleep, the tongue is pushing saliva into our throat to be swallowed.

In other ways, the tongue is mighty. It has the power of encouragement or discouragement. An encouraging word to someone who is down can lift them up and help them make it through the day, while a destructive word to someone who is down can further the spiral into depression. Proverbs 18:21a tells us “The tongue has the power of life and death.” Matthew Henry writes “Many a one has caused his own death, or the death of others, by a false or injurious tongue.” What is your tongue saying today?

Prayer: Lord, may my words today “fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants” (Deuteronomy 32:2b). May I praise you in all I say and do. Amen.

Digging Deeper: Proverbs 10:20-12, 18:13; Psalm 19:14; Ecclesiastes 5:2-4