Truth From the Garden

On the way to the barn one morning, I spied plants growing next to the wall of a raised bed. Taking a closer look, I immediately recognized the flower my late MIL had given me. But the other plant looked a little iffy.

Brushing the fallen leaves from around it, I uncovered a yellow bloom and knew it was a weed. I also found the plants were intertwined, making it impossible to pull one without disturbing the other. I didn’t have time to transplant the flower that morning, so I left both.

I thought about the wheat and tares parable and how the servants instantly recognized the difference between the two. As a teen, I worked as a cashier. We didn’t have special markers to let us know if a twenty was a counterfeit or not. We had to look at it and recognize it. I’ll never forget the instructor’s advice. “Study the original until it becomes second nature, and you’ll have no problem spotting a forgery.”

In our world, it’s necessary for us to weigh everything we are hearing, feeling, doing, and seeing by the Word of God. Seeds are being scattered daily. Like the servants, we must recognize what is growing in our spiritual field. Truth or lies? Can we tell the difference?

If you struggle, study until it becomes second nature. That means to become a student with a mind to learn. Daily Bible study has many benefits.

Truth Sets Us Free

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).

Adam Clark has this to say about the truth.

“It is not only according to the truth of God that ministers are to be set apart to the sacred work; but it is from that truth, and according to it, that they must preach to others. That doctrine which is not drawn from the truth of God can never save souls. God blesses no word but his own; because none is truth, without mixture of error, but that which has proceeded from himself.”

Adam Clarke

To witness to others, we must know the truth. The truth sets us free.

Truth Lights the Way

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path (Psalm 119:105).

So many are looking for answers. The Bible can give us light and direct us in the ways we should go.

I love what Charles Spurgeon writes about this scripture in The Treasury of David.

“Having no fixed lamps in eastern towns, in old time each passenger carried a lantern with him that he might not fall into the open sewer, or stumble over the heaps of ordure which defiled the road. This is a true picture of our path through this dark world, we should not know the way, or how to walk in it, if the Scripture, like a blazing flambeau, did not reveal it. One of the most practical benefits of Holy Writ is guidance in the acts of daily life; it is not sent to astound us with its brilliance, but to guide us by its instruction. It is true the head needs illumination, but even more the feet need direction, else head and feet may both fall into a ditch. Happy is the man who personally appropriates God’s word, and practically uses it as his comfort and counsellor, – a lamp to his own feet. . . . Ignorance is painful upon practical subjects; it breeds indecision and suspense, and these are uncomfortable: the word of God, by imparting heavenly knowledge, leads to decision, and when that is followed by determined resolution, as in this case, it brings with it great restfulness of heart.”

Charles Spurgeon

Truth is Necessary for Our Spiritual Well-being.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones (Proverbs 3:5-8).

Here’s another quote from Adam Clarke.

“It is well known that it is by the umbilical cord that the fetus receives its nourishment all the time it is in the womb of the mother. It receives nothing by the mouth, nor by any other means: by this alone all nourishment is received, and the circulation of the blood kept up. When, therefore, the wise man says, that “trusting in the Lord with the whole heart, and acknowledging him in all a man’s ways, etc., shall be health to the navel, and marrow to the bones;” he in effect says, that this is as essential to the life of God in the soul of man, and to the continual growth in grace, as the umbilical cord is to the life and growth of the fetus in the womb. Without the latter, no human being could ever exist or be born; without the former, no true religion can ever be found. Trust or faith in God is as necessary to derive grace from him to nourish the soul, and cause it to grow up unto eternal life, as the navel string or umbilical cord is to the human being in the first stage of its existence.” 

Adam Clarke

How can we we learn truth and understanding without studying the Word?

Points to Ponder

Paul said, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17).

If we are to grow, we must read the Word. Another way to mature is by listening to the preaching of the gospel. Both will . . .

. . . strengthen our faith and trust in God

. . . define evil that we may depart

. . . give us insight for decision making

. . . help us recognize the truth.

Have you had your daily dose of the Word?

The Garden of Life

Spring has a way of turning my thoughts to the Creator. For instance, have you ever pondered the pollination process in light of our relationship with the Lord and with each other? No? Great! Allow me to share my thoughts with you this morning.

There are three types of pollination: self-pollination, cross-pollination, and artificial cross-pollination.

Self-Pollination

gailjohsonauthor.comSelf-pollination happens when an excess of pollen in a flower causes pollination to take place within that same flower.

Prayer turns my heart to the Lord and renews my mind. Fasting teaches me discipline and helps me to submit to His will and not my will. Biblical studies grow my faith and knowledge in Him. All of this, combined with the work of the Holy Spirit, helps me to produce that which God has planted in me.

Cross-Pollination

gailjohnsonauthor.comThe next technique is cross-pollination. This pollination takes place when small animals, rain, wind, and insects carry pollen from one plant to another.

I imagine the small animals as inconveniences that arise and hinder my plans, the rain as dark days that hide life’s sunshine, the wind as the storms that test my faith, and the insects as situations that irritate me.

Yet, I have a choice how I respond to the pollinators that God sends into my life. If I’m willing, each instance can produce fruit. The small inconveniences cultivate steadfastness and instruct me in diligence no matter the deterrent. The rain promotes contentment in every season of my life that I may know an unspeakable joy. The wind rocks me and loosens the earth around me allowing my roots to go deeper. And finally, those irritants urge me to have patience by teaching me self-control. All work to strengthen my faith in the Lord.

Artificial Cross-Pollination

Lastly, artificial cross-pollination occurs when a person gathers pollen from one flower, and then using a small brush or blower, applies it to another flower.

Gail Johnson © 2017Just like artificial cross-pollinators leave pollen, people leave a signature fragrance that remains long after they’ve gone. Some leave a sweet smell while others leave an unpleasant odor that may linger for years. Each produces its own kind of growth.

The “sweet” pollinate the Word along with encouragement into my life promoting deep thirsty roots of faith in Christ and juicy fruits of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, the “odoriferous” flit about pollinating the latest gossip, strife, anger, and bitterness often disrupting my peace and stealing my joy.

Gail Johnson© 2017Unlike the flowers in nature, I have a choice to refuse or accept odorous pollen. The solution? Allow the Holy Spirit to blow upon me each day.

As a pollinator, I also have a choice. Brush people with the stench of this world or the sweet fragrance of Heaven.

To become a stinky pollinator, I need not do anything. But to become a heavenly pollinator, I must allow the Master Gardener to deadhead, fertilize, and water my spirit each day!

May we all be a sweet fragrance to those we meet along the way. 🙂

Click to Tweet: People leave a signature fragrance that remains long after they have gone. Some leave a sweet smell while others leave an unpleasant odor that may linger for years.