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Gardens.

Yes, for man, it all started in a garden.

And there are many lessons we can learn from God’s revelation through His creation around us. We can find that there are are plants and animals that are good for us to eat, and there are things that are poisonous as well.

And we can learn that things are either alive and growing or dead and rotting.

Colossians 2:6-7 ESV
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

This seed of Jesus Christ living in us that we receive – it is meant to grow,  to become firmly rooted, to grow strong, and to bear fruit. It is meant to result in a life of gratitude and thanks and praise and honor to God. Yes,  it really is more about God receiving praise and honor and less about us.

Matthew 13:1-9 MSG
What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road, and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled by the weeds. Some fell on good earth, and produced a harvest beyond his wildest dreams. “Are you listening to this? Really listening?”

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This is a lesson about us, friends.

Some seed is scattered by the road:

Matthew 13:18-19 MSG
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?”
Study this story of the farmer planting seed. When anyone hears news of the kingdom and doesn’t take it in, it just remains on the surface, and so the Evil One comes along and plucks it right out of that person’s heart. This is the seed the farmer scatters on the road.

Yes, some will reject the Word of God entirely, being hardened of heart and never even talking it to heart or considering it.

Some seed is cast among gravel:

Matthew 13:9, 20-21 MSG
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?”
The seed cast in the gravel—this is the person who hears and instantly responds with enthusiasm. But there is no soil of character, and so when the emotions wear off and some difficulty arrives, there is nothing to show for it.

Yes, some will be weak and will react to the message,  but will quickly fall away once they encounter struggles, because their emotional reaction to the Word of God was not the baptism of the Holy Sprit into their lives.

And there is the seed amongst the weeds:

Matthew 13:9, 22 MSG
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?”
The seed cast in the weeds is the person who hears the kingdom news, but weeds of worry and illusions about getting more and wanting everything under the sun strangle what was heard, and nothing comes of it.

This is the lukewarm Christian. This is the person that still believes that religion is only for their self improvement and for application to make them a better person within society. You see, they are still focused on self,  and “religion” is all about self. Many “religious” people will practice their rituals faithfully,  but their lives will prove fruitless,  because it was all done for personal improvement or seeking rewards for themselves.

And there is the seed planted in good soil:

Matthew 13:9, 23 MSG
“Are you listening to this? Really listening?”
The seed cast on good earth is the person who hears and takes in the News, and then produces a harvest beyond his wildest dreams.

You see, there is a purpose for our receiving this Word of God.

It is for us to not just hear it.

It is for us to not just apply it.

It is for us to not just produce some fruit.

It is for us to produce a harvest beyond our wildest dreams.

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS!

God doesn’t say,  go forth and live a normal life like all the rest of mankind and do a little.

No, He calls us to step out in faith,  to dream impossible dreams,  to be His children,  and to see miracles follow us.

Mark 16:17-18 MSG
“These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.”

People will say, oh no, he’s turned crazy on us. Now he’s chasing after those things that the crazy people chase after.  And I tell you, no. It doesn’t say that believers chase those things – in fact,  it says just the opposite,  that those things will follow the believers. So I’m not chasing signs and wonders. I’m not trying to manifest them for myself – but I am expecting God to show up and create quite a stir one day,  and for signs and wonders to follow me.

Because I’m going to dream big. I’m going to follow faithfully. And I’m going to trust God to move in extraordinary ways – not to prove me right,  not to put my name in lights, not to give me any glory or honor – but so that He will be honored and exalted as the one true God, worthy of our praise and worship.

Some might even call me radical, because they will only see me,  not see Him working through me. I just want to be good soil. I just want Him to grow.

More of Him,  less of me.

So that I can abound in thanks, for God is so good.