As I try to daily maintain my garden this time of year, I also try to daily nourish and replenish my spirit. I have found 3 great ways to do just that!
1) Read the Bible! God wants us to read his love letter to us everyday. (Put it in your schedule to read the Word of God daily?)
2) Communicate with Him! He loves to communicate with us on a regular basis. (Why not tell Him of your love for Him through prayer and worship?)
3) Worship with other believers! He loves meeting us at church, and fellowshipping with other believers. He likes us enough to want to be meet with us more than once a week! He likes being around us daily! (Why not make time for church to be a priority in your week and make Him your priority each day?)
If we can begin to incorporate each of these three disciplines into our life – reading the word, talking to God, and being involved in a Bible believing church – we can be on the road to becoming productive for the kingdom of God! I think more than anything, everyone on the earth wants to know they have a purpose, and to know that their life counts. When it comes to making a difference in the world, we do need to be armed with the Word of God, know the power of prayer and the power of praise and worship, and then know the power of being involved in a body where the believers join together to accomplish great things for the kingdom of God. To be able to make a difference, we do need to be nourished and replenished. We stay strong and ready (nourished and replenished) when we are full of the Word, in constant communication with God, and when we know that we are a part of a church family that serves God with us. So keep your garden healthy and make sure your are nourished and replenished to be productive for the kingdom of God!
If everyday I’ll weed my garden, I can catch the weeds when they are small and when they can easily be removed. If I let them grow, and the earth is hard around them, it may take a shovel and a lot of effort to remove them. A little bit of effort on a regular basis pays off in the long run. A way to apply that to our spiritual life would be to make sure we are saturating the garden of our heart with the water of the Word. If it needs a little fertilizer, do a word study in that certain area, so you are armed and ready with the Word of God to overcome the weed that is trying to take over your garden. We can pull up the weeds that are obstacles in our life by using our faith muscles and see them be removed. We can stay alert and awake, and remove the weed before it goes to seed, because the result from weed seed is only multiplied problems. Consider the dandelion!!! You know what happens with them. One dandelion creates 100’s! Daily maintenance in our spiritual life keeps us living weed free! If we notice attitudes or actions in our life that aren’t in line with our new life in Christ, we need to dig up those weeds. To produce the great fruit that God wants in our life, we need to be the kind of gardener who watches over the field, and makes sure it gets what it needs to be productive, and chases away or uproots anything that is detrimental to the crop’s health. Be encouraged to be a diligent gardener! You can live weed free!
I want to encourage you – do what it takes to grow spiritually, it’s worth the effort! This past week, I spent a little bit of time in garden pots, and much to my dismay, I found many have an abundance of weeds growing among the flowers and vegetables. Just looking at the uninvited greenery that wriggled it’s way into my normally lovely gardens made me think about how daily care (in any area) makes for much less work in the long run.
Isn’t that true about most things in life? If you’re like me, you probably have tried to teach your kids that if you take care of things right away, you won’t have piles of work to do later on. One of my biggest pet peeves is coming home or waking up to a kitchen sink full of dishes. With a busy schedule and lots of activities with church, schooling, recreation, chores, animals to care for, and sports activities, there are many times when dinner happens quickly and then we have to be out the door. The messy pile of dishes meets us when we get back home.
A pile of mess can happen in other areas of life if we don’t take care of things on a daily basis. Little things can creep into our life when we don’t daily maintain our walk with God. Bad attitudes, anger, bitterness, corrupt communication or many other things can slip in if we don’t attend to the garden of our soul.
So take the time, and tend. It will benefit you in the long run.
Hi, this is Dorette with your dailyeword. I love this time of year, because it’s tomato time. Red, ripe, delicious tomatoes are plentiful and ready for picking. Gardening has some great spiritual lessons attached to it, and now would be a great time to learn about them. So with your spiritual encouragement from my garden, here is your dailyeword.
There are some important lessons we can learn from the garden, so I think I should share my vast knowledge with you!
1. If you wait to long, you might miss the opportunity. Sometimes we are slow about things for legitimate reasons, but often if we wait too long on some things we will miss an important opportunity. In our area, with a shorter growing season, we want to have things in the ground in time to actually harvest them.
2. Be selective about what you plant. Too many varieties of too many plants give you an over abundance that might go to waste. This is also true of life. If you are too thinly spread, you can’t do any job to the best of your ability. Streamline!
3. Maintain. If you don’t pull the weeds, you might not be able to find the plants! It works in the home too. You might not be able to find the keys, because they are hidden beneath a pile of papers (weeds!). Find a solution that works for you to deal with weeds (and clutter) on a day-to-day basis.
4. Water. Plants don’t survive without water, and neither do you. Hydrate your plants and your body. Priority #1-Water your spirit with the “water” of the Word.
5. Stir up the fallow ground. The soil around your plants needs to be turned over to get more nutrients into the growing plant. As humans, we need our fallow ground stirred too. Don’t get too comfortable just doing what you normally do…..shake things up. Be spontaneous, be creative, do something out of the ordinary. You might surprise yourself!
6. Stay in the sunlight. Plants need to see the sun to grow, and you do too! The only difference is the sun you need is spelled SON! Let the SON in, and shine your light so the whole world can see.
7. Be fruitful. It is of absolutely no use to plant something and not expect a harvest. I plant flowers to grow flowers, I plant vegetables to grow vegetables. If we want a harvest from our life…we need to be planted. Find a place to grow and bear fruit! That means finding a great local church to be a vital part of.
Then GROW to your hearts content. Our key scripture this week is found in Mark 4:14-33. I want to encourage you to be good soil that produces 100 fold!
Today I want to encourage you to be your own “thought” policeman! It may sound funny, but it is a great way to determine what kind of thoughts you are going to think about. The Bible tells us how we should think, and what we should think about. It tells us in II Corinthians 10:4-6 that when thoughts try to enter our mind that are not thoughts that help us obey God’s Word, that we are to capture them. That means we don’t allow them to stay. So here is how you can be a “thought policeman”. Whenever you find yourself thinking of anything that leads you down a wrong “thought” path, pretend you are the “thought policeman” and you capture the thought and then throw that thought in jail. Don’t allow those thoughts around you at all. As soon as that thought is captured, instead of leaving your mind empty, or trying not to think about the wrong thoughts, you have to replace it with something that will keep your mind on the right things. Do you have any idea what that might be? It is the Word of God. Whether you use specific scripture, or just a “God-principle”, your thoughts can be centered in on what God thinks about you. If you’re feeling like a failure, or not smart enough to do good on an upcoming test, capture and handcuff that thought, and then put thoughts like these in it’s place.
I have the mind of Christ.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
God will bring back to my remembrance all of the things I have learned.
I am well able to do well.
Once you start thinking like that, you’ll start believing like that! And when we believe in our heart, we will see positive results, because that brings our faith into action. So this week, think about what you think about! When your thoughts need to be captured, be the “thought policeman”, and get them out of there!
Do you know that your thought life can affect your heart? This week we have been looking at how important it is to think thoughts that line up with God’s Word. We have to capture thoughts immediately that are against what God’s plan is for our lives. The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he/she.” That’s in Proverbs 23:7, and it does show that our thought life can affect your heart. What we think about, often becomes who we are. What we think about is what we begin to talk about, and what we talk about is what we begin to do. The progression goes from thought, to words, to action. What is very cool about the power that God has given us, is that we can use that positively for our good. The enemy always perverts what God created, and God created the world with words. The enemy tries to destroy our life, often by our own words, that are a result of negative thoughts that become planted in our mind. Power for abundant life is in our tongue. Power for life then in is taking our thoughts and aligning them with God’s thoughts. That’s the renewal process, or making good our mind, which leads to speaking God’s thoughts, and then seeing them manifest in our life. I really want you to learn to control your thought life. Don’t let random, ungodly or negative thoughts settle in your mind. Determine to capture them immediately. Let your thoughts become positive words that bless your life and those around you. The tongue has the power of life and death. As the Bible says, “He who keeps his/her tongue, keeps his/her life”. To keep your tongue, you need to keep your thoughts. So my encouraging word for you today is to center your mind on things above. Instead of being carnally or worldly minded, which leads to death, be spiritually minded with your mind centered and focused on Christ, and live a life of peace and rest.
One of my favorite things to do is to encourage people with specific scriptures that pertain to their situation. I can remember as a teenager, when I was first exposed to the full gospel message when I heard a lady from the pulpit give someone a specific scripture in a church service, that was like a word of knowledge just for the person in the congregation. I can remember thinking, I want to be able to do that. Well, guess what, if we hide God’s Word in our heart, God will bring His Word to our remembrance when we need them, and you can encourage someone with the very words of God. It doesn’t even have to be super-spiritual! Out of the abundance of your heart, your mouth will speak, so what you put in, is what will come out. Let me give you an example. My second daughter was studying for a major scholastic exam. She called me discouraged that she might not do well, and right away, God’s Word started rising up in my heart. I started reminding her about what God’s word says about her. It says, that she has the mind of Christ. It says, that she can do all things through Christ who strengthens her. It says, that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. It says, that He will bring back to her remembrance all the things that she has learned. It says, that she hasn’t been given a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. It says, that the diligent will prosper. It says, that she is more than a conqueror, and that God will give her the desires of her heart. So in a few simple moments, she went from being a little fearful, to being encouraged. What we think about really matters. If we continue to focus on the negative, we will get what we expect. The Bible says that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. Or as a woman thinks in her heart, so is she. So what do you choose to think about? Let’s think God’s thoughts about our life, and encourage someone else with what God thinks about them.
1 Cor 10:3-5 are 3 scriptures that are so powerful when understanding what we have to do with our thought life. There is a progression that takes place in this scripture. See if you can notice what it is. “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Casting down every imagination and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. The progression is this, thoughts turn into imaginations, and imaginations can become strongholds. The key to having a healthy thought life is to deal with issues when they are in the thought stage. Since we can’t keep thoughts from coming, the moment they enter our mind is the moment we have to deal with them. If we entertain them for a while, they can move from a random thought into something we imagine ourself doing. It goes from black and white to a full color wide screen! Sin can actually be conceived when at that point. Verse three is such a big key in understanding how we deal with what is going on in our mind. It is where the biggest battle takes place for most Christians, and as verse 3 of II Corinthians 10 says, even though we are flesh, we don’t fight with weapons of flesh….our weapons are mighty in God. He has given us keys and tools to overcome, and we must choose to operate in them to live in the victory that Jesus purchased for us. We begin by taking every thought captive. That means we can’t be lackadaisical about what we think about. We have to have a purpose driven thought life. Just like we wouldn’t allow a mouse to run through our house, we would set up a trap and get that varmint out of there. We need to do the same with our mind. When even a small negative thought comes through, set up a trap, get it out of there. And do it right away. Capture that thought, so it won’t move on to the next stage of imagination or become a stronghold.
Renew your mind. That is what Romans 12:2 tells us to do. One of the synonyms for renew is to “make good”. I like the thought of “making good” your mind. There are lots of ways that thoughts come to our mind. There can be “out of the blue” thoughts, “something triggers your mind” thoughts, even smells and sights can bring up thoughts in your mind. One thing that is so necessary when it comes to our mind is recognizing where thoughts come from. Obviously there are two forces in the world, one good and one evil. So there are God thoughts, and enemy thoughts. So when a thought from the enemy settles in your mind, you can make it good, by renewing your mind to what God’s Word says. We have the ability to remove thoughts and to change our thinking by replacing them. We take the wrong thought out and replace it with the right thought. We take out the old thought and replace it with a new thought. We take out the bad thought, and “make it good”. One of the key words in Romans 12: 2 is the word transformed. In the Greek it means metamorpho, which is the root word for metamorphosis. We think of caterpillars to butterflies. One thing becomes something totally different. What was once on a lower level, now takes wings and flies! The same thing can happen with our thoughts. We can choose to think on a higher plane. We take a lower thought, and replace it with a higher thought! Romans 8:6 says that to be carnally minded (or earthly minded) is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. To think on those things which keep our hearts and minds on Christ Jesus, we “make good” or renew our mind to His Word.
I’m sure you are familiar with the scripture in Joshua 1:8 that says for us to meditate on the Word day and night, observe to do what is written, and then we will make our way prosperous, and the we will have good success. Just in case you think that meditation is some recent invention, it was God’s idea from very long ago. Our thought life or what we meditate on appears to be really important to our future success, from this one scripture alone. This week we’ll be concentrating on lining our thought life up with God’s thoughts. What we choose to think on has great power in our lives, because thoughts become actions, and actions demonstrate what we believe. When we become a doer of what we believe, change and growth results. So what do you believe? Are you taking time to meditate, or think on God’s Word? There is great power in the written (logos) and the spoken (rhema) Word of God. Meditation on God’s Word does the opposite of what worry does. Worry believes the worst, pictures the worst, expects the worst, and often gets the worst. Meditation believes the best (The Word), pictures the best, expects the best, and gets the best! So if you have a tendency to be a worrier, start doing this. Whenever thoughts of worry come to your mind, capture them, and replace them by meditating on God’s Word.
Instead of thoughts of going under, remember God is Jehovah Jireh, your provider, and meditate on scriptures like “my God will supply all my needs by His riches in glory”.
Instead of thoughts of catching some sickness, remember God is Jehovah Rapha, your healer and that by his stripes you were healed.
Instead of whatever you can worry about, think of what God says about the subject. His Word is what is The Truth.
Think about and believe the truth. Meditate on and act on The Truth. Then positive changes and good success will take place in you.