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Digging up weeds

“Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.”
Matthew 15:13 NIV

There is a small garden in front of my house that goes around my front porch. I am not a gardener by any stretch of the term, so this bed has grown over with weeds and perennials that try to squeeze in between the vines. Considering this is the first thing someone sees when visiting my house, it is not a grand first impression.  I asked my mother for advice and she suggested replacing the whole garden with one kind of tree or shrub that I could take care of and that would make my yard look more uniform and appealing. Thankfully, when I visited her last fall she gave me some maidenhair grass from her own garden that I could take home and plant in my own.

The hard part came when I got home and had to clear all of the weeds, vines, and assorted perennials out of the ground. As I worked down in the soil with a shovel to pull out more and more roots that were longer and deeper than I had initially suspected, I chuckled and compared this to the work of pulling out the old roots of sin in our hearts. Just as there is no room for the new healthy grasses in my garden if I don’t pull out the old weeds, there is no room for God in our hearts if we don’t get rid of the old habits in our lives.

In Matthew 15:13 NIV, Jesus said “every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots.” He was referring to the Pharisees that were preaching a misguided message, but we can apply this illustration to our own lives by pulling up every root that does not glorify God. In John 15:2 NIV, Jesus explained that “He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.”

If I hadn’t cleared out the old weeds before I planted the new grasses, they wouldn’t have had a chance to grow. Digging deep old sins out of the soil is hard sweaty work but the goal is becoming more like God. In Luke 8:7-8 NIV, during the parable of the sower, Jesus said “other seed fell among the thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” It takes good soil (or a clean heart) to grow more with God than we could ever accomplish ourselves.

In Christ,

Erin Tabor

Photo Credit: https://www.pexels.com/photo/agriculture-backyard-blur-close-up-296230/                      

Fruit of the Spirit – SELF-CONTROL

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

This picture could easily be me (sans the beautiful water in the background). Head down, heart sad, feeling like such a failure… again. Why? Because I’ve blown it… again. My three year old knows just the right buttons to push to bring mommy to her breaking point. And sometimes, I do. I crack, I lose my patience and self-control, and I blow up. And then the remorse comes. Did I really just allow a three year old to steal my self-control? It is MY self-control to hold onto or throw away. For my husband, losing his self-control comes when he’s driving on the road with other drivers. It’s like a person I never knew can break forth from that man when we’re on the road!

Whatever your triggers are, you have to recognize that it is YOUR self-control. No one can steal it from you, no one can make you lose it. To lose it is a choice you make all on your own. It is not an easy task, but with the power of the Holy Spirit living inside us we can be victorious! For me, I know it will be a lifelong task of growth, but I will become a more self-controlled, godly woman. I’m praying that over you right now as well friend.

I’ll close today with 2 Peter 1:3-9. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.”

God bless!

Noree Wegmeyer

Photo Credit:  https://pixabay.com/photos/girl-sitting-jetty-docks-sad-1822702/

Fruit of the Spirit – FAITHFULNESS

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” 
Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

When I was eleven, my family moved to Israel as missionaries. Every time we crossed the ocean the airplane would be full of Jews. Sometime during the flight (depending upon what time the flight was) the Jewish males would wrap what is called “tefillin” around their hands and foreheads as part of their prayer ritual. Tefillin are small black leather boxes that contain scrolls inscribed with parts of the Torah. The Orthodox Jews faithfully wrap these little boxes around their hands and foreheads when reciting their daily prayers. They do this because in Deuteronomy 6:8 the Lord commands the Israelites to bind His law on their foreheads and tie them as symbols on their hearts.

Sometimes it made me so sad to watch them so faithfully reciting their heartfelt prayers to God while at the same time rejecting Jesus as the Messiah. So many Jews are so faithful in their worship to God, while remaining blind to the Truth of Jesus Christ. But as followers of Jesus Christ we are not blind! We have been set free to faithfully worship our Lord and Savior. In Proverbs 3:3 the father is telling the son, “Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.” I pray you would take a few moments as we close to get vulnerable before God and ask Him to convict you of any areas in your life that you are unfaithful to Him. Sit in silence for a few moments and allow God to speak. If there is anything, I encourage you to confess it back to God, ask for His forgiveness, ask Him to help you become faithful in that area, and find an accountability partner if needed. The Bible continually emphasizes the everlasting faithfulness of God towards His creation. As His children it is only fitting that we strive to do the same toward Him.

God bless!

Noree Wegmeyer

Photo Credit: https://www.freeimages.com/photo/faith-1221055