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Good Soil

31 January 2012

Imagine an apple orchard: before there were trees, there was only ground. Someone came and planted seeds. Some didn’t grow. Some did. The seeds had no say in the matter. They were just there. Some were in richer patches of soil than others. When the seeds grew into trees, they didn’t just ‘wake up’ one day and think, “I think today, I will grow at least one apple.” As far as I know, unless Tolkien and C.S. Lewis were speaking a greater truth than we previously imagined, trees don’t think or talk. Likewise, we were are like that orchard. God uses people to plant seeds in our hearts. Some take. Some don’t. God waters those seeds. And, if we keep ourselves open to his work (by prayer, submission, and time in the word), those seeds will grow into strong, tall trees. The end goal is that we will be fruit-bearing trees. But, we can’t just wake up one morning and decide: “today, I am going to have the fruits of the spirit.” No, those are gifts from God. We have to pursue them, yes. But, essentially, they come from God. We have to be good soil and we have to keep feeding ourselves spiritually to be good soil.

If we want to be able to live out our call to be a witnessing community, we need to be good soil!

There are multiple benefits to staying plugged into Jesus and his Word.

1. We will have a deeper relationship with God. Back to the tree illustration: the trees that survive strong storms are the ones that have their roots deeeeeep in the ground. Likewise, we need to have our spiritual roots firmly and deeply in Christ. Through this, we can have a deep relationship with God. Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Ephesus:

“I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” – Ephesians 3:16-19 (emphasis added)

May this be our prayer as well: for ourselves and those around us.

2. We will live a much more full life filled with grand adventures and calling from God.

3. We will have strong relationships with fellow Christ followers, our spiritual family.

4. We will be able to lead a lifestyle of being rooted in Christ.

5. We will have a greater insight and understanding of how to reach out to those how are lost. And we will be more alluring to them.

“You are the salt of the earth; but what if that salt has lost it’s taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled under foot. You are the light of the world. A city build on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on a lampstand, and it give light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:13-16

6.We could create that city on hill that Matthew was talking about – IN OUR COMMUNITIES.

So. I challenge all of you to spend some time thinking about this: In what ways do you need to grow deeper with God? What are things or fears that are holding you back? How can you, as a follower of Christ, use your growth and deepening in Christ to lead in a witnessing community and bring God into our communities?

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