Devotional for Friday, April 28, 2017 with Pastor Jim Lucas
Oh, don’t you just love it when the rain pours and pours down, day after day; your lawn is professional treated, and you’re thinking like I am right now – Oh man, let it stop raining so I can mow! My grass is going to be so tall, it’s going to take forever to get it back into shape. Just recently I was at a three day conference, then the rains followed that, so this was heavy on my mind. Like, what is it going to look like? What will the neighbor’s think? (maybe theirs will be so tall, mine won’t look so bad!). Nooooot! It was embarrassing!!! It was nearly a week until I was able to get to it. Notice the ‘before’ and ‘after’ in the accompanying picture. It was 7 inches tall in places. Good news – I have a riding mower with 2 baggers. Bad news – because it was so tall, it was wet at the ground level and therefore it clogged up the entry shoot OFTEN. Good news – I could drive one strip of my property. Bad news – then the bags were full. Wow. Well, 3 hours later, and 16 (that’s sixteen) bags of cut grass, my lawn was back in shape. Some further trimming along the side of my house and around the flower beds and I was done!! Whew! You see, the overgrown/tall grasses covered up the natural beauty of what the lawn should look like!
And yes, there is a Biblical principle that God wants to teach us from this scenario. We need to intentionally grow spiritually. Eph 4:15 says, “we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,…” Growing takes trimming; discipline, patience, etc. But often we get waylaid, don’t we, and let our lives get distracted with things around us, till the beauty of who we are to be in Christ is covered up by anything but Him! Our devotional time is abandoned to something else. Meeting with the family of God is covered up with the tall grasses of ‘I don’t feel like it,’ ‘I’m too tired,”I’m too busy’ or any number of excuses.’ The beauty of our prayer life, our time of talking with Jesus has lost its luster and urgency to apathy. But be reminded: He wants us to grow in our relationship with Him. We can’t grow spiritually with Him if we don’t spend time with Him.
This is a powerfully convicting reminder for all of us to keep our life trimmed so we can be beautiful reflections of Him. After all, we were all made in His likeness; made in His image. There is a trimming that God does, and a trimming that we are responsible for. For God, He is in the process of making us more like Him. He said in John 17:17 “Sanctify them in the truth. Your Word is truth.” God wants us to be people who bear fruit. And so we read in John 15:2, Jesus saying, ‘every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” Trimming is very important. Are tall grasses covering up the fruit you should be expressing: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control? [Galatians 5:22-23]
Trimming also includes this: Matt 25:1-13 relates a very serious parable: of 10 virgins preparing to meet the bridegroom. Simply put. they were to be prepared for when Jesus would return. Since we don’t know when this will happen – 5 were wise= far-sighted, practical, sensible. 5 were foolish= silly, thoughtless, careless. The foolish didn’t take extra oil, but the wise did. When the bridegroom was coming, the wise virgins got up and put their own lamps in order; trimmed the wicks and added oil and lit them. The foolish tried to get some oil from the wise, but there wasn’t enough to go around. As a result, the foolish women perished. We must be ready, with our wicks trimmed, and everything in order. We are to keep our lives trimmed for God’s use now, and we keep them trimmed in readiness for His return. So, let’s head to the (God) store, buy some oil ( a symbol of the Holy Spirit!!), keep our (lives) lamps trimmed and ready, and live beautiful God-filled lives until He comes. [BTW – there’s plenty of oil, so buy now, and keep some in stock!]