The Word of God Landscapes Our Lives

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January 18, 2021

James 1:21 (NIV)

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

CONSIDER THIS

We are likely all aware of the law of reaping and sowing. It is straightforward: you reap what you sow. Plant tomatoes; reap tomatoes. Plant zinnias; reap zinnias. So what happens when you plant nothing? Reap nothing? Wrong. Plant nothing; reap weeds.

Isn’t that amazing? We get weeds without planting them. They just are. We have two major problems in life: sin and death. They just are. Sin and death are like the weeds of our soul. They are not only present, but prevalent. They suck the life out of us and they produce nothing of value. 

Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.

Translation: Weed your soul, grow the Word. 

Biblical translation: Repent and believe the gospel. 

Weeding is a constant challenge. Weeds never give up and they keep coming back, no matter what. We must stay vigilant and on top of this task or else the weeds will literally take over. More important, though, is what we are sowing and actively growing. In fact, the more the Word of God is growing and bearing fruit in our lives, the more motivated we will be to stay on top of the weeds. Righteousness and love actually have a way of displacing sin and death. 

So what does it mean to humbly accept the Word planted in you? I love how James 1:21 is translated in The Message version of the Bible: “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.” 

To humbly accept the Word planted in us means to surrender to the holy vision of God for our lives. It means deeply engaging God’s Word: reading, ruminating, remembering, researching, and rehearsing it. God has a vision and plan for our lives and we will not know it apart from the Word of God and the Spirit of God. He wills to landscape our lives with his Word, making a a salvation-garden of our souls. 

Pushing the scriptural metaphor even further, what grows in a salvation-garden? The fruit of the Spirit, of course! “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23 ESV). 

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. (MSG)

First Word. Last Word. God’s Word.

THE PRAYER

Father, thank you for your Word, which you are always sowing into our lives. I want you to landscape my life with your Word. I want the fruit of the Holy Spirit to grow and flourish in my life. Train me in the discipline of weeding, to pull them from my life at first sight. Even more, give me a compelling vision of your glory for my good. I pray in the name of your Son, Jesus. Amen.  

THE QUESTION

How does this Word resonate with you today? How will you respond to it? 

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt
Sower-in-Chief
seedbed.com

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Farmer. Poet. Theologian. Jurist. Publisher. Seedbed's Sower-in-Chief.

1 COMMENT

  1. Oh, what a pretty garden perfect in my sight. The weeds are drawn the flowers in bloom. Me and myself are alright. Oh, but what is that which lingers below the soil all so deep. A fungus, a growth that the naked eye just cannot see. Oh, precious Master Gardener the lover of my soul, remove from me all deadly things and make me ever whole. Water me with your love so that my fragrance is ever sweet. Keep me in thy sunlight so I may stand sturdy through the storms and through the night. Oh, Master Gardener lover of my soul, prune me, weed me so I may be a delightful fragrance worthy of my Lord and King.

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