There are some things in life that make me think of our Creator: an ocean sunrise, the vastness of the nighttime sky, the birth of children, and weeding! (Weird, I know!)
Thirty years ago, I planted and sculpted garden beds throughout our yard. Everything has matured beautifully. The palms that were once three feet high, now loom 30 feet into the
air. A once five-foot Live Oak is now over 35 feet. The various hedges and colorful, blooming Hibiscuses, Orchids, Bougainvilleas, African Irises, Lilly of the Nile, decorative grasses, and
Caladium bulbs that faithfully spring forth, multiplying every
summer, bring vitality and beauty to our yard and neighborhood! It’s a blessing to reap the benefits of my labor from so many years ago. However, all those garden beds need
regular maintaining! (Something to consider before planting—ha!) So, once again this morning, I was outside taming the chaos of weeds and thistles. You may have surmised this devotional would be about
The Garden, rather than my garden. Well, it’s really about both!
When God spoke the world into existence, he—the Word, who created all things—brought order out of the formless, chaos (Ge 1; Jn 1; Col 1:16). Many scientists would have us believe that nothing created everything, and out of that nothingness, the order, design, and fine-tuning of the universe evolved into what it is today. But, is there observable, repeatable evidence of that idea in our everyday lives? Homes, cars, buildings, and gardens don’t spring forth out of nowhere. They are designed and built by architects, engineers, artists, and landscapers. Nor do these creations improve overtime. Paint peels, rust happens, bricks crumble, and weeds grow! Without intervention, decay happens. Sadly, this principle never works the other way around. Things don’t build themselves or evolve into order on their own. If I don’t regularly tend to my garden, the weeds will surely take over.
As I worked today, a part of God’s garden curse came to mind, “It will produce thorns and thistles for you . . .” (Ge 3:18). Yet, I also thought of the One who came to remove the curse, to restore his creation to the order he intended. Jesus became the curse for us, and took away the sin debt that we owe to God (Gal 3:13; Ro 6:23).
Despite my best efforts at weeding, I was unable to grab all of them out by the root, which means they’ll grow back! If I don’t care for that bed sooner than I did today, those weeds will be more difficult to bring into submission and will eventually choke out the good plants.
In one of Jesus' parables, he tells of two kinds of people, the good seed, and the weeds. The good seed stands for the people of the kingdom that are sown by the Son of Man. The weeds are the people of the evil one, sown by the devil, our enemy. At the end of the age, the weeds will be pulled up, and burned in the fire! (Mt 13:37-40) God is a merciful and loving God. Yet, in the parable of the weeds, Jesus issued a dire warning to remind us that God will not allow sin to go unpunished; he is a just and holy God (Nu 14:18).
But everyone sins. So what are we to do? Here’s the miracle, Jesus can turn his enemies into friends—into good seeds. The Bible says, we were all once God's enemies, but he made us his friends through the death of his Son. Now that we are God's friends, how much more will we be saved by Christ's life (Ro 5:10; see also Jn 3:16).
The Apostle Paul instructs us to throw off everything that hinders us and the sin that so easily entangles, we must run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the one in whom our faith depends from beginning to end.
Let us ask God to weed out the sins in the gardens of our lives, and thank him for dying on the cross to forgive us.
And let us be people who bring this message of hope and salvation to our
neighbors. (He 12:1-2; He 3:13)
Dear Lord, Help me to obey you. Thank you for the promise that when I confess my sins, you can be trusted to forgive me and take away my sins. Amen. (1 John 1:9)
Copyright 2020 Sarah Keith
Teach children the CREATION to CROSS redemption story.
the PARABLE OF THE WEEDS to children.
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