Pulling Out The Weeds Matthew 13:22
The other day I was in our back yard pulling out weeds in the garden. The biggest one was a bull thistle, about 5 ft high. I kept it aside from the little pile that I had accumulated from just one small area. Later, my trophy weed, which I was so proud of, made the trip up the steps with me to our front yard, where I could show it off.
Normally weeds of this size are not possible to truly irradicate. The tap roots are most likely to break off and the thing will eventually grow back somehow. This year, weed pulling has been extraordinarly easy because our soils have been exceptionly wet this spring with all the rains. I have learned a lesson from this. Why don't I water really heavy in the dead heat of summer, and then be wiling to muck through the mud and pull those weeds that have gotten away on us? In like manner; if we are overwhelmed with cares of work, family, or personal things, its time to soak our hearts with alot of what God has to say about things. Saturate our souls with the water of the word, and the worries can be rooted out.1
After I showed Marianne my trophy, this sport became her endeavor, which she normally avoids, due to allergies. She made a pile in the garden twice as high as mine, and even made it accross the street to start pulling weeds in a flower area by where we park. I mentioned, "Wouldn't it be something if humanity could get garden vegtables to grow faster than the weeds?"
By the spoken word of the Creator that is recorded in Genesis 3, the soil is under a curse. In the new economy of life, Jehovah God was presenting to Adam and Eve an adversity that most of mankind has faced ever since. As "stewards of the earth"2, we have thorns and weeds growing in the areas where we are trying to gain our livelyhood. Whereever we are trying to plant, water, and prune plants that are to bear us fruit or pretty flowers, we encounter weeds to some degree. Now days, most of us are not famers, working directly with the crops that become our source of food or commodity. So how does this relate to me? There are mechanical breakdowns with any thing that moves, or that is electronic. There are traffic problems. There are social issues with customers, co-workers, and in some cases employers, teachers, or goverment officials. Can any one relate? Our lot is to be facing these weeds and experience the hard sweat that it takes to remove them, till the return of Christ and the earth is made made new again.3
If your feeling the worries of this life choking you spritualy, take courage, and roll up your sleaves, along with me, and pull those weeds out. Don't remove the people in your life, or park your car and start walking. Move away if you have to, but only as a last resort for peace. Pulling the weeds, in most cases involves a paradigm shift, a new perspective, and a real change in my own heart. Lately the deceitfullness of serving mammon, or obtaining wealth4, has been minimizing the "Fruits of the Spirit" 5 that Jesus wants me to be emanating to others.
There is a deception that can come upon us as we work. When we work, we are rewarded with a wage. Some of what we do is just survival or self maintenance; but most of us labor 8 hrs or more a day to produce a product, or a service to others, and the reward is money. With that money, we have the power, or the ability to do what ever we want. That is within the natural laws that exist and the market value of dollars we posses. It is the purposes that motivate our labor that are the question to be answered. Money itself is not evil, it is the love of it.6 Jesus declared that we cannot serve God and wealth.7 So how can I be working, and enjoy it, but not let the rewards of it become the master that I serve?
Obtaining wealth, or my goal to be "debt free" is not an end in itself. Interviews with lottery winners have shown that the "victims" testify that they are no more happier now that before they bought the winning ticket. I recently heard a radio preacher expound on Matthew 5. The beatitudes, or the description of a truly blessed and happy life that Jesus taught us, or is still trying to teach us through the written scriptures, no where mentions wealth. The merciful, the peacemakers, the ones who are persecuted and suffer for what is right are the truly happy and fortunate ones.
For 10 yrs now I have been working 2 jobs, burning the candle at both ends per say. I believe that I am right where I should be in life, and with work, and most things will not get totally cut out of the time budget. I am seeking a paradigm shift8 in the approach that I use to face these daily tasks and positions of responsibilty. The seven hats hanging on my office wall are allegorical to the multi- tasking that I face each day. I wear the Sherwin Williams hat on painting days, and the True Value hat on carpentry days. Most days I am changing hats at least 2-3 times. How can I let God's word bear fruit as I fulfill each of these responibilities? Which of these hats should I take down, and retire, for this season or possibly for ever? The tree climbing one? Not yet. For today I will wear the husband / father hat first. The negotiations of the construction business and the janitorial business are major time blocks that require alot of mental energy and concentration. Doing the work is the easy part, and its very therapudic. Pulling the weeds is very rewarding!
Our world view needs to be based on the good seed, the words of Jesus that we can live by. They are "spirit and life" for us.9 May we continue to hunger for God's word and take time out to read it, or listen to it as we drive or work. I need to be less anxious about things; and learn to be in prayer as I go about the "Martha" duties; so that the cares of this world are not hindering God's word from bearing fruit in my life.
We also need fertilizer at times, and that can really help the garden veggies up strong and produce a lot of fruit. May this re-birth that each person can experience be given any one who reads this devotion and wants illumination10 to what God is speaking to them. For the disciples who have been hearing Christian teaching for years, may there be a fresh anointing so that what is heard is put into practice more than ever before. May our spirit, or our character, and "good works" 11 be an ever growing brighter light in this dark age, by putting into practice what we have heard from God. G.W.
1That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, - Ephesians 5:26 KJV
2So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: "Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. "And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. - Genesis 9:1-3 NKJV
3Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. ... "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." - Revelation 21:1, 4 NKJV
4"Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. - Matthew 13:22 NKJV
5But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, - Galatians 5:22 NKJV
6For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. - 1 Timothy 6:10 KJV
7"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God andwealth. - Matthew 6:24 NASB
8 Paradigm Shift def. "a profound change in a fundamental model or perception of events,"
9 "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. - John 6:63 NKJV
10For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. ... But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. - 1 Corinthians 2:11-12, 14 NKJV
11"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. - Matthew 5:16 NKJV