The garden is a great teacher. Teach us this morning, let us remember simple truths. must receive ample amounts of sun.
Sad to note: man can completely block any sight of the sun, simply by holding up a single – human – thumb.
So the hand of the gardener, must be busy with the plow, breaking up the hard and thorny soil, so the seed of God’s love can miraculously grow- but the focus must be fruit, the focus must be love, the focus must be Today! Not yesterday or tomorrow!
Winter is past, springtime is here! The time of flowers and singing has come. (These are actual words from the Song of all songs!) (1).
But, unless the ‘soil of our heart’ is prepared and made ready, the seed of God’s love is simply trampled and eaten by the birds of the air, and we become unaware, that nothing is growing…God’s love is not sown, and we wonder what happened…when the love…is…all…gone. There is no love to be found. No love anywhere! (2).
With this kind of soil, ‘it will always be winter, and never spring!’ (haven’t we heard those words before? Yes, C.S. Lewis, in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe). Winter forever? What a horrible thing!
“God help us!” we cry. “Where is the love?”As a daughter, as a son, as a mother, or a father. As a bride, as a groom: “We say, ‘I Do’, till death do us part! But then, what happens? There is no love… I can’t do it myself. The soil of my heart is …so …hard.”
The garden, my teacher. The garden, my friend. A place to be taught, under the Son, once again.
“The rocks, the weeds!” Is there no end to these?”
“They are the voices you hear over and again: “You don’t need the church. You don’t need those people. They are fake, much like plastic, just stick with ‘Mother earth’. The smiles, the kindness, it’s all selfish and empty – you can ‘do it alone’, you will find you have plenty!”
Remember the note at the beginning of this letter: with just a human thumb, the sun can be blocked from view – O God, We need a Shepherd, because as sheep we can be simply… _______!
It has been spoken by the True Shepherd Himself, Who reminds us, ‘He is the vine’ as well: “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” A humble, straight forward reminder,that we can’t go it ‘on our own’, so well… and time – does – tell!
“Ouch!” The sharp edge of the spade hit’s the soil real hard..but fruit is the focus! Fruit is the goal! The ‘fruit of the Spirit is love’ yes, that is the focus – love – is – the – goal!
Remove the rocks or there is no hope for growing ” Do you want to know God? His word gives great warning: “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. They stumble because they disobey the message…” (3).Read the message, and ask God to help you obey! This is your call! This is your call!
God loves you already! He demonstrated that, when He sent His Son to die on the cross, for our debt to pay in full – for us all!”(4). For us all…
“What’s the purpose of the ‘church going?” you might ask? A place of stumbling at times, and I want you to know that I understand – in that there is no perfect church – so why waste the time? But God Himself has told us to make it a practice to unite,(5) even if it’s to simply give thanks to Him- that you are breathing and living and that He’ll get you through ‘this hour of night!’
Perhaps the rocks have been taken out, and the motions to church have been made…but the weeds keep on growing, and there’s no room for God’s love in sowing – what then? what then?
Don’t give up! Ask God to give you a willing heart! Ask God to give you a willing heart! A beautiful garden He will make. Read His love letter that has been written for you. “He who began a good work in you will complete it.” (6) He will make a beautiful garden out of you. ‘His word is true.’ (7).
(1). Song of Solomon 2:12, “Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come, the cooing of doves is heard in our land.”
(2). Matthew 13:1-4, “Later that same day, Jesus left the house and went down to the shore, 2-3 where an immense crowd soon gathered. He got into a boat and taught from it while the people listened on the beach. He used many illustrations such as this one in his sermon:
“A farmer was sowing grain in his fields. 4 As he scattered the seed across the ground, some fell beside a path, and the birds came and ate it.”
(3). 1 Peter 2:8, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message–which is also what they were destined for.
(4). Romans 5:8, “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.”
(5). Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
(6). Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure that God who began the good work within you will keep right on helping you grow in his grace until his task within you is finally finished on that day when Jesus Christ returns.”
(7). John 17:17, “Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.