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Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Galatians 6:7 (NLT)

Have you ever had the chance to visit a greenhouse in the early spring? While most of us are just beginning to think about getting out to do the yard work, greenhouses and nurseries are busy preparing and planting the flowers and plants you will use to beautify your yards and gardens.

They are making sure the soil mixture is just right, adjusting the heat and moisture levels, and making sure that enough light is available for optimum growing of the plants. Not only that, but they make sure that the plants they are preparing will grow well in your area. It’s not important if they grow well in the regulated environment of the greenhouse. Each gardener must ask the question, “How will this plant do in the real world?”

One more thing the gardener makes sure of before they offer their plants to you. They make sure there are no weeds among the plants. Weeds are tricky little things because sometimes they look just like the real plant. An untrained eye can easily pull up a flower thinking it’s a weed or leave a weed intact thinking it’s a flower!

A trained gardener is never surprised by what comes up in the pot they’ve planted. The seed they place in the soil produces the exact plant they intended it to be. No turnips from marigold seeds. No rose bushes from pumpkin seeds. No oak trees from pine cones.

Life is the same way. In a sense we are gardeners and the world around us is the greenhouse. We plant seeds by the words we speak. We nourish plants by the actions we take and the attitudes we carry. When we plant understanding and acceptance, we gain understanding and acceptance in our own lives. When we plant love and mercy in the lives of others we receive love and mercy in return. When we cultivate our relationships with grace and forgiveness, we harvest grace and forgiveness in return.

What seeds are you planting in the lives of those around you? The Bible tells us that the things we instill in others by our actions and words are the exact things we will harvest. It’s true that sometimes we won’t see the results as soon as we’d like, but sometimes we need to prepare the soil by getting rid of the weeds and rocks and nourish it before the seed will actually take root.

Remember, we are responsible for preparing the soil and planting and nourishing the seed. It’s God who is ultimately responsible for the actual growth of the plant. The seeds you place in the lives of those around you will produce exactly what you plant, nothing more. Nothing less.

PRAYER: Father God, master gardener. I realize that you have made me exactly as you want me to be. I praise you for the wonder of my being and the privilege I have to be yours. I pray that I might be able to plant seeds in the lives of others that will bring forth the kind of harvest that is pleasing to you. Help me to sow seeds of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness in the lives of those around me today. In Jesus name, Amen.

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the LORD, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. Hosea 10:12

If you are a gardener of any sort you know the difference between unplowed and plowed ground. Try planting a tree in ground that hasn’t been broken up for years and you know how hard it is to penetrate the grass and roots and break up the soil that lay beneath them.

On the other hand, when you try to dig into soil that has been broken up with the plow or tiller you know how easy it is to plant. Plowed soil is easier to work, holds moisture better from the rain and is more able to take in nutrients. It’s no wonder that in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed, Jesus says the richest soil,  the soil that produces the most fruit, is the soil that is worked up, plowed, broken apart by the farmer. Soil that is broken up is prepared to bear fruit.

The Bible often compares our relationship with God to soil. Lives that are full of ‘emotional and spiritual’ baggage are unable to completely receive all that God has to offer us. It’s much like how hard rain on dry ground tends to run off and not penetrate the soil even though it is needed in order for the soil to produce fruit.

So, how can we make the ‘soil’ of our lives more productive for Jesus? When King David was ‘caught’ in his sin with Bathsheba he wrote about his journey back to God. In Psalm 51 he says, “Search me and know me…” Often we think of this as a prayer to make when we are on the ropes spiritually, but in reality it’s a prayer that each of should make every day.

It shouldn’t be a fearful or threatening thing to approach the Father and ask Him to reveal the ‘weeds and dead roots’ that keep us from taking in the spiritual nourishment He provides in our lives. It could be painful to some degree. Sometimes the things that keep us from experiencing all that God has for us are ‘good things’. We can fill our lives with family time, church activities, social action activities and godly friends. But if these things keep us from relationship building with Jesus, they can hinder our personal spiritual growth.

Sometimes sin, poor choices, doubt and worry can choke the redeeming forgiveness of God’s love and keep you from the peace He earnestly wants to give you. Forgiveness God’s way is complete, full and final. Don’t let the enemy drag you down by reminding you of past sins that have already been forgiven through the blood of Jesus!

On a daily basis ask God to evaluate the three major areas of your life, Love of God, Love of yourself and Love of others. These three areas must be in agreement with what your Father says about you in order for you to experience God’s blessing. Remember, while we think in the realm of the physical, God thinks in the eternal. What we think of blessing here on earth may not be what he is thinking.

PRAYER: Father God, I ask that you would give me the courage to allow you to take the plow to my life. Empower me with the wisdom and strength of your Spirit to look at my love for you, my love of myself and my love of others. If there are ‘weeds’ in my life that need pulling help me to let go easily so that You can fill me with the spiritual nourishment I need to bear fruit for you. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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