2011-07-12 - Biblical Wisdom Gleaned from My "Teachers" through the Years
Teachers God Has Sent Me through the Years ~ Part 1
With this devotional, I will begin a series of Biblically sound truths that have come to me through the years sometimes from from orthodox sources, and at other times, from unlikely ones.
Richard and I recently turned our back porch into a mini-greenhouse, where we planted some peppers in a huge pot. Since we are complete neophytes when it comes to gardening, we have sought the advice of seasoned gardeners. Both my father and a friend at work have informed us that we will need to remove some of the plants, so they won't crowd out the healthy growth of the others. These peppers have been good reminders, that our Master Gardener tends to our spiritual growth this way, as well.
John 15:2 b (NAS) Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes so that it may bear more fruit."
God regularly prunes our lives, so that we can bear more spiritual fruit. Perhaps we have cultivated a habit or relationship that hinders our spiritual growth, or that of someone else, such as a friendship or family relationship in which the person is over-dependent upon us - to the point that it prevents him/her from maturing fully, and is unhealthy for us, too. Maybe we find that when we are around certain friend(s), our attitude is more caustic, or we find ourselves laughing at jokes that our Lord would not find amusing, such as those that "poke fun of" certain people.
Perhaps there are hobbies that prevent us from worshipping, serving and fellowshipping regularly in a local church, or that eat up our free time, distracting us from God's callings upon our lives.
As for our foray into container gardening, the pruning process hasn't come easily for us; in fact, we haven't yet been able to bring ourselves to remove any of the sprouts! But soon we will have to, in order to prevent overcrowding. Sometimes it's painful to prune our spiritual lives as well, or to accept God's actions toward that goal. But in the long run, as the overused but still-true cliche reminds us, "it's for our own good," and "we'll thank Him (God) one day."
What is God asking you to remove from your life (or at least decrease the time given to it), so that you can bear more healthy fruit for Him?