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"Flourish or Wither"

Date published: 03/24/2017
Mark 4:24b-25 "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you — and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him." (NIV)  

   Gardening offers a parallel to your life in the kingdom of God. What a garden looks like and what it produces is heavily dependent upon your efforts. You can choose the right plants to grow in the right areas; apply the right nutrients that maximize the growth and color of each type of plant; properly cut and prune to maximize the plant’s growth; apply insecticides or gardening practices to control insects; amend the soil for richness. These are some of the things you can do to have a flourishing garden. Doing less will result in diminished color, growth, or edible products you are trying to grow.  

   In Luke 8:15 you see how your pursuit of God can affect Christ’s work in you, “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (NIV) The measures you use will have an effect on what your life in Christ will look like. Putting comfort, convenience, and applying the least effort can result in a life in Christ that is continually diminishing. 2 Corinthians 9:6 shows how investing more of your life in Him results in experiencing more of Him: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” (NIV)  

   As your garden will flourish with the measure of what you put into it, so will your Christian life flourish or wither according to what you put into it. Psalm 51:6 shows David’s desire for God’s truths to consume his heart: “You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.” (NRSV)  Pursue God not for what He has for you, but for who He is. Seek to not just get, but to know His inmost heart. Allow God’s life to touch your life in such a way that your life glows from your time spent with Him. Apply the measures God desires for you, so that He will bless you accordingly. Do not stop short of what God has for you, but give God maximum access to do all He desires to do in you. 

Exodus 34:29 “When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the Testimony in his hands, he was not aware that his face was radiant because he had spoken with the LORD.” (NIV) 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You” and “Satisfaction.” 

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