In the Garden
My Father, . . . may your will be done. Matthew 26:42
My forefathers were pioneers in Michigan. They cleared the land, planted crops, and cultivated gardens to raise food for their families. This agrarian bent has been passed down through the generations. My dad grew up on a Michigan farm and loved gardening, which may explain why I love gardening and the smell of fertile soil. Cultivating plants that bear beautiful flowers and tending roses that fragrantly grace our yard with beauty are enjoyable pastimes for me. If it weren’t for the weeds it would be wonderful!
When I have to wrestle with the weeds, I am reminded of the garden of Eden; it was a perfect garden until Adam and Eve disobeyed God and thorns and thistles became a reality for them and every gardener since then (Gen. 3:17-18).
The Bible also mentions another garden—the garden of Gethsemane where Christ, in deep distress, pleaded with His Father to find another way to reverse sin’s consequences that were born in Eden. In Gethsemane, Jesus surrendered to His Father by uttering words of full obedience in the face of great pain: “Your will be done” (Matt. 26:42).
Because Jesus surrendered in that garden, we now harvest the benefits of His amazing grace. May this lead us to surrender to His weeding of sin from our lives.
Lord, thank You for the amazing price You paid to free me from sin. May the reality of the victory You won encourage me to reject the sin that entangles my ability to be fruitful for You.
Spiritual growth occurs when faith is cultivated.
By Joe Stowell
Missionary Weapons (2)
If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. —John 13:14
Ministering in Everyday Opportunities. Ministering in everyday opportunities that surround us does not mean that we select our own surroundings— it means being God’s very special choice to be available for use in any of the seemingly random surroundings which He has engineered for us. The very character we exhibit in our present surroundings is an indication of what we will be like in other surroundings.
The things Jesus did were the most menial of everyday tasks, and this is an indication that it takes all of God’s power in me to accomplish even the most common tasks in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? Towels, dishes, sandals, and all the other ordinary things in our lives reveal what we are made of more quickly than anything else. It takes God Almighty Incarnate in us to do the most menial duty as it ought to be done.
Jesus said, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15). Notice the kind of people that God brings around you, and you will be humiliated once you realize that this is actually His way of revealing to you the kind of person you have been to Him. Now He says we should exhibit to those around us exactly what He has exhibited to us.
Do you find yourself responding by saying, “Oh, I will do all that once I’m out on the mission field”? Talking in this way is like trying to produce the weapons of war while in the trenches of the battlefield— you will be killed while trying to do it.
We have to go the “second mile” with God (see Matthew 5:41). Yet some of us become worn out in the first ten steps. Then we say, “Well, I’ll just wait until I get closer to the next big crisis in my life.” But if we do not steadily minister in everyday opportunities, we will do nothing when the crisis comes.
Am I becoming more and more in love with God as a holy God, or with the conception of an amiable Being who says, “Oh well, sin doesn’t matter much”? Disciples Indeed, 389 L