The art of cultivating is in our veins. We are made in the image of God who is The Creator! If we are honest, we all like to create things on some level. Whether we garden, cook, organize, design our outfits (image), and so on.
As we talked about Sunday, the garden represents a place of life, nurturing, growth, and sustenance. God created man in the Garden. It was a beautiful place! Then, man would be kicked out of the Garden because of rebellious sin. Thousands of years later, Jesus would go to the garden to pray, “Father, if your are willing, take this cup from me, yet not my will but your will be done (Luke 22:42).” Jesus is there, on our behalf, preparing to die the next day for my sin.
The beauty of the garden in both scenario’s is that God is there. In the first scenario, God is walking with Adam and Eve, his presence is what makes the garden beautiful. The Second scenario, is beautiful because Jesus (God) is there preparing to die for my sin, so that I may be with him forever, in his presence. Amazing!
“And you were dead…(Eph. 2:1)” These words should make us uncomfortable. I was dead (spiritually), couldn’t move, act, or react. “But God, being rich in mercy… made us alive…(2:5).” He brought us from death to life. Not only that, He has created us for good works! That he prepared for us to do!
If our good works are not founded in the work of Christ, then they are sin. Apart from Christ we are dead, in a graveyard. There is no good that we can do. But in Christ, all that we do can bring great glory to God.
Think of your life as a seed of the Gospel. Root yourself in his Word. Allow it to be the source of nutrients and water that will allow your roots to grow deep and your fruit to be plenty. Turn from any sin that is killing that seed today and repent. Plant your life in a way that those around you see the love of Jesus. “Walk in a manner worthy of the calling in which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (4:1-3).
Love Jesus, Love people, cultivate a garden with your life. Do the hard work of building relationships and love patiently and watch what God will do with the garden of your life!
Know that you are loved and cared for today!