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Lessons from a Garden

Colossians 3:16 "Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and instruct each other by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God."

Well, summer has ended, and fall is upon us. I hope you all had a wonderful summer, spent lots of time in the sun, and found quality time for family. For those who grew gardens, I hope it was fruitful and beautiful. As in summer I have one more garden analogy I'd like to share. Things we can learn from a garden.

Cultivate lasting friendships- Proverbs 27:9 “The sweet smell of perfume and oils is pleasant,

and so is good advice from a friend.”; Psalm 133:1 “It is good and pleasant when God’s people live together in peace!”

-Nothing is better than friendship. It can be with your spouse, the one you're dating or a platonic friendship. Having a friend can truly fill you with joy. The key is that you have to cultivate it. Like a garden you can't just toss the seeds and hope they land and grow. You must work with it, pull the weeds, water them, spend time in your garden. The same as with friendship. The time spent together will only grow the friendship closer and sweeter.

Sow seeds of kindness- 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Remember this: The person who plants a little will have a small harvest, but the person who plants a lot will have a big harvest.”; Luke 6:38 “Give, and you will receive. You will be given much. Pressed down, shaken together, and running over, it will spill into your lap. The way you give to others is the way God will give to you.”

-You reap what you sow rings true in scripture. When you are kind and Christlike others want to be around you. On the other hand, would you want to spend time with someone who would gossip behind your back, share your secrets, etc. Sow seeds of kindness, let others see Christ through you so that they can have Jesus in their hearts. Sow a light of good for others and helps your Jesus to others.

Listen to sage advice- Proverbs 11:14 “Without leadership a nation falls, but lots of good advice will save it.”; Proverbs 19:20 “Listen to advice and accept correction, and in the end you will be wise.”

-The older I get and see my children becoming adults the more I realize my parents know what they are talking about. It's wise to listen to those older than us because they have already lived through some of the same things we have, and they understand the struggles. Some of those older than me might not be very wise, but for those who have shown wisdom, they are the ones to listen to.

Don't let the little things bug you- Isaiah 43:18-19 “The Lord says, “Forget what happened before, and do not think about the past. Look at the new thing I am going to do. It is already happening. Don’t you see it? I will make a road in the desert and rivers in the dry land.”

-Ever since the movie Frozen came out there is a song that runs through my head when I'm letting little things bother me. “Let it go, let it go…. I don't care what they're going to say….” Yes, I still have to work at it, but it does get easier when you just let it go. People are getting more and more selfish, and I don't want to become like them. No sense getting myself worked up over things beyond my control. My focus is peace and I know no matter what God's in control.

Be outstanding in your field- 1 Corinthians 10:31 “The answer is, if you eat or drink, or if you do anything, do it all for the glory of God.”

-Have you ever noticed a field of sunflowers in full bloom? They stand tall, they stand proud, and they open wide and yellow, facing the sun. They know what they are, what they're meant to do, and they do it to their best. Flowers, vegetables, trees, plants. All grow and bloom as God created them to do. We are also God's creation, and He has given us all talents and abilities to not only live in this world but to serve Him. Like a sunflower we can stand tall and proud and be outstanding in the way God created us. Like a sunflower, we will grow best when we face the Son.

Take time for yourself- Psalm 51:10-12 “Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my spirit right again. Do not send me away from you or take your Holy Spirit away from me. Give me back the joy of your salvation. Keep me strong by giving me a willing spirit.”

-This one is simple. Staying busy is good, working hard, being productive and helping others is great, but it's also very important to stop every so often and take a little “me” time. Time to rejuvenate and refresh. Time to draw closer to God and grow in our relationship with Him. Time to add a little seasoning (fun) to your busy life. Time to stop and smell the roses and appreciate all that Jesus has created and done for you.

No vining- John 15:5 “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If any remain in me and I remain in them, they produce much fruit. But without me they can do nothing.”

-No need to climb and be cumbersome. Jesus has promised to be our vine. All we need to do is cling to Him and let our branches grow from Him. He is the root we can cling, and He will always help us grow and produce.

As we sit back and enjoy the fall and winter seasons before us let's always remember to be like a garden, grow our roots deep in Jesus and know that God is taking care of us.

We have been starting our new study through 1 Corinthians and have made it to lesson 3. I hope you have found some time in your day to sit and allow the Holy Spirit to fill you and speak to you. The Bible is full of so many wonderful stories, promises, hope, and more and each time you open it's pages you are opening your heart up to Jesus to move you, heal you, speak to you and so much more. You are cultivating your relationship with Him and taking time to be a friend as He is to you. Hopefully you can join me as we continue on through the scriptures. Today we will be looking at our third lesson, 1 Corinthians 2:1-16.

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