Watching my wife over the last little while has been interesting, to say the least.
Not yet having her greenhouse that I was supposed to have finished last season (aargh!) has relegated the kitchen table to holding her starter plants (another asrgh!)
Gardeners everywhere, too, are pulling out starter trays, soil, and tools in hopes of producing gardens. It is truly amazing the length people will go to produce a vegetable garden or a flower garden.
My wife and I are fairly new at the “northern” gardening thing; you have to know certain things.
We (more my wife) have talked to a lot of people who have given us insight. My wife has also done plenty of reading, too, all of which needs to continue if we desire to figure this gardening thing out.
Master gardeners or people who have gardened for any length of time know things.
Planning, locating, preparing soil, watering, how to plant, inspect and pest control, just to mention a few, and with each session, they work their hands to prove out what they know, or don’t know.
The whole process of gardening is an excellent concept for a Christian to consider while developing their faith.
Just like a gardener, a Christian needs to know stuff – and not the stuff the world focuses on… but, you know… on the stuff Jesus talks about.
Matthew 13:23a indicates what both gardeners and Christians alike need to know…. “But he who received seed on good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces…”
Can you see it?
Simply, put, you need good ground!
If you don’t have good ground, you won’t bear fruit or produce…period.
As Christians, we need to take responsibility with cultivating the soil of our heart. If we don’t, this Scripture tells us that we can’t actually hear the Word or understand it, yet alone produce or bear fruit.
Verse 19 of Matthew 13 tells us that without understanding, our spiritual adversary will just come and snatch what seed was sown.
Verse 21 explains clearly that hard ground or untilled ground stymies growth. . .causing one to stumble.
It’s like “mixed faith” in part, Godly belief and worldly belief. . .or as some would dub it “carnal Christianity”.
This kind of faith will eventually wither away and revert back to a worldly reliance and thinking pattern.
We need good ground.
However, a master gardener would immediately add a statement by saying – and likewise – you need good soil depth!
Don’t food yourself, as committed Christians, we need depth! Depth provides an environment to promote sustainable root growth. It not only provides stability in perilous times, but also gives you the ability to draw out nutrients for maturing.
Spending time in God’s Word and putting your hands to it will prove what you need to know, or don’t know.
Matthew 13:23a also mentioned seed.
“But he who received seed…”
In the Gospel of Luke 8:11a, it clearly records Jesus saying, “The seed is the Word of God.”
This Bible is a Christian’s seed bag!
Now in saying that, if you wish to grow world, plant world (seed).
If you wish to grow faith as a follower of Christ, plant the correct seed. Plant the Word of God!
Just as the ground must yield itself to the rototiller, so, too, as followers of Christ must submit to the “Master Gardener”.
By allowing the Holy Spirit access, and doing as He says, you can begin the process of building rich, deep and fertile “heart” soil.
Plant the incorruptible seed – the Word of God, and embark on an epic journey of tending your own personal garden that produces and generates “Christ-like” fruit.
Do that and the whole idea of the great commission won’t seem so far from the realm of possibility – He will have you help tend others’ “heart” soil, too.
Pastor Phil Lutton, HIgh Prairie Victory Life Church.
May 10, 2023