How is your salvation-garden doing? I never thought of it this way before but reading the first chapter of James in the Message got me thinking. What if our lives really were meant to be salvation-gardens cultivated by God? Are we hindering God’s work?
Post this at all the intersections, dear friends: Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear. God’s righteousness doesn’t grow from human anger. So throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life. (James 1: 19-21, MSG)
God, who is rich in love, wants to landscape us with the Word. When we read the scriptures and let the Holy Spirit read us and change us according to the Word, our salvation-garden is being cultivated. That is such a beautiful analogy. Close your eyes and vision how your salvation-garden looks like. Is if flourishing? Or are there too many weeds? Too little water?
Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. (James 1: 22-24, MSG)
In order to have our salvation-garden flourishing we need to let the Master Gardener work in us and teach us how to tend our salvation-garden. It doesn’t do any good to only dream about a beautiful garden. We need to give the Master Gardener free hands to work and put us into work alongside him. And we do that by engaging with the Word, meditating on it AND putting all God is teaching us into action. We need to weed and water our gardens according to the instructions of the Master Gardener. And we need to stick with it. Only then can our salvation-gardens flourish and bear fruit.
But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action. (James 1:25, MSG)
Thank you for having beautiful plans for the salvation-garden of our lives!
Don’t let us hinder you from landscaping us.
Dwell in us, make the salvation-gardens of our lives as gorgeous as in your designs.
Enable us to grow steadily and bear bountiful fruit for you.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How does your salvation-garden look like?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you let the Master Gardener cultivate you with the Word of God!
Photo courtesy of Brandon Johnson