I’m so excited to keep gardening with God, and with you this week! Jesus is the perfect gardener. He’s the master gardener and He never allows anything into your life or my life, until it passes first through His nail scarred hands. You are loved and that’s how I want you to feel every time we open God’s Word together. We’re going to sit under the teaching of Jesus today. You and I are going to listen in on three different conversations He’s part of in three different gospels. So, join me first in Luke chapter 17!
In order for a gardener to prune his roses, to care for them so that they continue to grow and thrive, he must be very close to the roses. Welcome to the Bible for Busy People. I’m so excited to keep on gardening with God and with you this week. Jesus is the perfect gardener. He’s the master gardener and he never allows anything into your life or my life, until it passes first through his nail scarred hands. You are loved and that’s how I want you to feel every time we open God’s word together. We’re going to sit under the teaching of Jesus today. You and I are going to listen in on three different conversations he’s part of in three different gospels. So, join me first in Luke chapter 17, beginning in verse three.
So watch yourselves. If another believer sins rebuke that person, then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive. The apostle said to the Lord,
And I totally understand why they’re saying this.
Show us how to increase our faith. The Lord answered, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, may you be uprooted and planted in the sea and it would obey you.
Wow, those are some powerful words right there. Don’t you love how the disciples are like, Lord, we want to do what you’re telling us to do, but please increase our faith. Forgiveness is hard. Loving your enemies is hard, but you know what? Jesus never asks us to do it in our own strength. He asks for our faith, and I truly believe he meets us right there. You know, there’s some hopeful news about pancreatic cancer. I dunno if you’ve heard about this. They’ve got a device that’s the size of a grain of rice and they’re using it to deliver immunotherapy straight to the tumor in somebody who’s battling pancreatic cancer. A cancer we have not been able to treat until now. Now there’s hope. These researchers are amazed and it reminds me of the mustard seed that Jesus is using in his story. He’s saying, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, that’s enough. A little is a lot in the hands of Jesus. Think about the little boy who brought his sack lunch to Jesus and he used it to feed thousands of people. It’s that same principle. Show the Lord. Say, I have faith. Ask him to increase your faith like the disciples did. All right, we’re going to move on to Matthew chapter 13 beginning in verse 31.
Here is another illustration Jesus used. The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds.
Have you ever seen a mustard seed? They really are tiny way tinier than a grain of rice,
but it becomes the largest of garden plants. It grows into a tree and birds come and make nests in its branches.
It’s a beautiful picture that Jesus is painting here, and I’ve always loved it, but like a piece of great art. I might enjoy gazing on it, but I didn’t really quite understand the depth of it. So, I phoned a friend here and I went to the workingpreacher.org, and this is what he says:
The focus is neither on the smallness or insignificance of a present circumstance,
ie the seed,
nor on the greatness of God’s future,
The kingdom of heaven.
both of which are taken for granted. A humble beginning and an almost secret presence are not inconsistent with a great and glorious conclusion.
I love that. See with God, there’s always more. All right. I want to move on now to the gospel of John chapter 12, picking it up in verse 20, our most important passage of the day.
Some Greeks who had come to Jerusalem for the Passover celebration paid a visit to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee. They said, sir, we want to meet Jesus. Philip told Andrew about it, and they went together to ask Jesus. Jesus replied, now the time has come for the son of man to enter into his glory. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone, but its death will produce many new kernels – a plentiful harvest of new lives. Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world, will keep it for eternity. Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.
The seed had to be planted in the ground in order for new life to come. Jesus Christ had to die, had to be buried and to resurrect in order for us to live forever. It was the price that was paid for your sins and mine we’re covered, and God gives us clues about this left in nature all the time. He gets us, he gets that we to understand, and we’re actually going to dive more into this tomorrow, and if you have ever been afraid to die and wonder what that all looks like physically, I think you’re going to be encouraged. So, come back next time for the next episode in gardening with God. But for today, listen. God knows you and I need to understand these big things, so he gives us pictures in nature. The bulb you and I plant in the fall looks nothing like the tulip that grows up in the spring. It’s completely different. It’s mysterious. It’s glorious. Sometimes I have to enter into God’s mystery. I think about what the prophet Isaiah tells us. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His ways are higher than our ways, but in his mercy and in his kindness, he paints pictures for us. He gives us tulip bulbs and sunflower seeds so that we know there’s more. With God, there’s always more. All right. Until next time, you are really loved.
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