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Hope Blooms Eternal
I love Spring! As the weather gets warmer, I can see tender green buds peeking through the ground. The sun warms them and encourages the flowers into full bloom. Front yards are bright with daffodils! Seeing the trees transform with leaves in every shade of green makes me excited about the promise of long summer days, new life, and renewed hope.
In the same way that God’s creation restarts fresh, God’s grace allows us to be reborn! That is the message of hope found in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
The Secret Life of Plants
The new life and growth we see is especially poignant when we consider that Jesus used seeds, sowing, and reaping symbolically in His parables!
- Parable of the mustard seed (Matthew 17:20) – Like the smallest seed can grow into a large plant, the smallest amount of faith can grow.
- Parable of the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 13:24-30) – The kingdom of heaven is like a man who planted wheat.
- Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) – Like the seeds that falls on fertile soil, a person who hears the Word and understands it will produce a crop.
Learning about the seed germination process can give believers insight about the dramatic change that occurs in our hearts and lives when we put our faith in Jesus.
When a gardener plants a seed, it already holds the beginnings of a tiny plant: leaves, stem, and root. When a seed is planted in the soil, it absorbs water which causes the hard outer shell to break open. The roots reach downward to find nutrition in the surrounding dirt. The leaves reach upwards to the warmth of the sun.
When we invite Jesus into our lives, we invite Him to change us from the inside out!
- The Word – Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active…” When we read it, mediate on it, and hear solid Biblical teaching, the seed of our faith will grow. The Word is like the moisture that causes a seed to break open and the nutrients feed the leaves and roots. The root system is strengthened and deepened so it can continually bring nourishment to the plant above.
- Praise and Worship – 1 Chronicles 16:23 begins with, “Sing to the LORD, all the earth…” Isn’t that a beautiful picture? All of creation lifting up song to the Lord to “proclaim his salvation day after day.” Praise is offering gratitude to God for who He is! It is like the warmth of the sun that a plant reaches towards. It encourages growth
- Prayer – Communication with God is a further way that our faith is strengthened. We can talk directly to God and He is faithful to answer (James 5:14-16). We need to be in communication with Him every day.
The presence of God in our lives will produce “fruit”, or visible evidence. The fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians are: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. (5:22-23)
Take a few minutes and think about the changes that have occurred in your life since you’ve become a believer. Are you more patient when you’re stuck in a long line? Do you have greater compassion for those who are hurting? Are you able to tell yourself “no” instead of acting impulsively? This is fruit!
Plants grow and bloom when the time is right. It’s hard to understand what’s going on when we don’t see changes “on the surface” as we pray and seek God. Remember to be patient and faithful, and know that God is at work. Do not grow weary! His timing is perfect! (Galatians 6:9)