Tending your Garden of Faith

Daffodil_webYesterday I went and pulled a few carrots out of my garden to add to a roast I had going the crock pot. There in the middle of my otherwise dead-looking garden (besides a few leftover carrots from last summer), was growing a single daffodil. It was funny to see because it’s something I did not plant.

Typically I’m not to surprised by what comes up in my garden, but this flower was a neat little treat. It set me to thinking of how it got there. The only thing I could come up with, is that a bulb got mixed in with some dirt I had purchased, or that it was mixed in with some of the manure I had used for fertilizer. Regardless, it was a pleasant surprise that reminded me of the hope of Spring right around the corner.

Gardening is something I thoroughly enjoy. I by no means consider myself an expert gardener, but I do enjoy the process and am learning as I go. There is much work that goes into gardening. First of all, the soil needs to be prepped and then seeds planted. Then it needs regular watering and weeding. Finally, a good amount of sunshine is necessary for growth. There is nothing like seeing the first sign of a sprout popping it’s head up through the soil or eating some of your crop for dinner. It’s really a very rewarding process.

I love the the analogy of gardening to that of our spiritual walk of faith. Just as gardening takes a good amount of work, so it is with our walk with the Lord. We must always be tending the garden of our faith so that in due season we can produce a good crop. We do this by growing in our Knowledge of who God is and by and putting our faith into practice by loving Him and loving those he puts around us.

In 2 Peter 1:5-8 it reads: For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As a garden will not grow on its own, so it is with our faith. Peter says we need to nurture our faith by adding things like goodness, knowledge, self-control, etc. We are told that if we possess these qualities and keep adding to them, they keep us growing.  Our garden of faith will only become healthy and thrive as we are careful to tend it.

Some of the things that keep us from growing and being unproductive in our faith are things such as impurity, idolatry, discord, fits of rage, hatred, jealousy, distention, selfish ambition and so forth (Galatians 5:19-21). These things are the weeds that so often spring up in our garden of faith and can choke out our crop if not removed. We are to be continually pulling these weeds as they spring up in our lives.

We have a sin nature that is continually at battle with our Spirit nature.  Therefore we are told to put to death these things (sin) lurking within us so that we can walk by the Spirit. By choosing to walk by the Spirit we produce good fruit in our lives.  Peter goes on to say in Galatians 5:22-23 . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. When we are faithful to tend our garden of faith, God provides the Sonshine and we are rewarded with a bumper crop of goodness.

Father God thank you for your love and your goodness to us. Help us to daily walk by the Spirit and to put to death anything in our lives that is not of you. Help us to grow in our knowledge of who you are and in our love for one another. Thank you for your work on the cross and for paying the penalty for our sin. Help us to live for you. To you be the glory both now and forever. AMEN

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