Thursday, May 24, 2012

Garden of your Life

Garden of your Life
By Suzie

“Post this at all the intersections.  Dear friends:  Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.  God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger.  So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage.  In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life.”  James 1:19-23 Message
There is nothing like a home grown tomato!  Thinking of a BLT sandwich makes my mouth water.
This is my fourth year to have a vegetable garden in my backyard.  Each spring we spend two full weekends working in our gardens and preparing the soil to plant my tomatoes, cucumbers, cilantro, bell peppers and squash.  Preparing a garden is back-breaking work.
We is turn the soil over, weed, add nutrients to the soil, and finally, we plant.
The work is only the beginning.  Every day you have to water, weed, inspect for certain insects, make sure your crops are protected from the harsh climate, and then there will be a harvest.
After all this hard work, you finally taste and see the fruits of your labor!  Is it ripe or rotten?
Our Christian walk is much like a garden.  We do all the right things like go to church, pray, have a quiet time, and serve in ministry.   However, like any garden, we have weeds.
Anger is a weed that multiplies.  James tells us we are “to be slow to speak and quick to listen.”  Oh, how I struggle with this.  Anger is one of those sins not everyone sees.
We may appear to have it all together, but we can still be deeply rooted in sin.  Anger keeps our hearts impure and it is our heart that directs how we speak. Luke 6:45
I can “lose my Jesus” with my family much easier than with my friends.   My husband and mom and even my precious girls have all been victims of my tongue thrashing.
I can let the words of others fester in my mind and get all worked up over nothing.
The next time I see that person I may be just a bit cold and disinterested.
The weed is now spreading.  And if I let it, it will choke and kill any good fruit that’s within me.
Our daily walk is filled with distractions, temptations, and tests.   We must plant God’s word in our hearts to guard against such things.
Righteousness should be our desire.  Righteousness is my desire.
We are God’s garden.  God is our gardener.  He spends countless hours preparing our hearts to receive His Word and His love.
Then he lovingly plants his Word in our hearts.  Daily he waters us with his love, grace, and mercy.
And like any good gardener who wants a bountiful harvest, daily he takes care to get rid of the weeds and insects that will destroy his fruit.
Challenge:  Daily read and ponder on God’s Word.  It is the nutrition you need every day.  If anger is a problem for you, lay it at the feet of Jesus.  Get rid of it so it does not destroy you or your relationships.  Desire God’s righteousness; that is His will for your life.   Respond to conviction immediately and confess your sin.
Pray with me:  Heavenly Father, please forgive me for my anger.  Forgive me for blowing up at my husband, children and others.  Thank you for your grace and mercy which are new each day.  Help me to guard my heart and mind by reading your word each day.  Make me slow to speak and quick to listen.  Put a filter over my mouth so nothing escapes my lips that is not of you.  Help me make my life fruitful for your Glory.  In Jesus’ name Amen.

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