“Let love be without dissimulation.
Abhor that which is evil;
cleave to that which is good.
Be kindly affectioned one to another
with brotherly love;
in honour preferring one another;”
From everything I’ve noticed about gardening, purging the bad elements out of the soil seems extremely important to see a fruitful harvest grow from our gardens. If we let weeds, disease, and pests invade our space, our gardens will not produce as we desire. It’s an ongoing effort. Gardens require constant care.
The same thing goes for our lives. We can’t expect to reap a bountiful harvest if we allow insincere love and evil to permeate our heart’s soil. For us to live holy and produce a Godly crop, we have to nurture holiness in our lives. Fruitfulness takes effort.
I’m learning that I can’t produce a harvest for God without obeying Him and following His instructions. I’m prone to go my own way, neglect my responsibilities, tolerate a “little” bad, be inconsistent, let things slide, and hope that my inadequacies won’t hinder my productivity. It doesn’t work. My life becomes about as unfruitful as you’d expect.
I’ve killed more plants than I’d care to admit and am surprised I’m still allowed to visit garden nurseries. (Bless my little heart…I keep trying.) I stay hopeful and work to eliminate the bad from my garden and my life. Each spring I plan and plant praying I’ll see another bloom on my bushes and spiritual growth in my heart. The only time I have is when I’ve diligently nurtured both.
Produce likes to be handled gently and kept comfortable. It doesn’t thrive in harsh environments. Neither do we, or the people we love. Living things need loving environments to grow.
Very little thrives in chaos and neglect. Simplicity doesn’t mix well with complexity and spirituality doesn’t mix well with carnality. Evil stifles growth. Good feeds productivity. We have to choose which of these we prefer.
What we harvest during our time on this earth will be dependent on what we sow. If you’ve been a Christian for some time that can sound like a worn out cliché. But, it actually comes straight from God’s Word:
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
for whatsoever a man soweth,
that shall he also reap.”
So, how do we sow the instructions given in Romans 12:9-10 so that we can reap a Godly harvest? Let’s review:
- “Let love be without dissimulation”
Plant seeds of sincere (Godly) love with others and be genuine.
- “Abhor that which is evil;”
Weed out evil from our lives which displeases God and deters growth.
- “Cleave to that which is good.”
Nurture what we plant with good things that promote growth.
- “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love;”
Kindly express affection for others like we feel for our families and reach out to and include them.
- In honour preferring one another;”
Lead others to God by sharing Christ’s love with them.
If we do these things in our quest to live holy, we’ll see our spiritual gardens growing and fruitful for our Creator. A dedicated gardener reaps from consistent labor. We can too, by committing to put in the work to reap a harvest. Let’s get our gloves on, grab our tools and dig in.
Bring It Home
What good things are you cleaving to that promote growth in your spiritual garden?
Praying for you as we grow together,