Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Gardener

God is Faithful

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Deuteronomy 32:4

Just about everyone loves spring – It is an incredibly uplifting and joyous time. The flowers are in bloom, the weather is warm, the days are getting longer --a welcomed change from the dark and cold days of winter. But without the toil of winter, would such a glorious spring be possible?

So too is it with life…No one enjoys walking through a difficult season, but they serve a purpose despite not always understanding what that may be. During such hardships, we long for the day when our circumstances will change, when life will get back to normal. But perseverance during trials can bring forth splendor in ways that we can’t even imagine. Trusting God as he prunes the dead branches in our lives provides an opportunity for God centered traits to flourish within us. God’s desire is to see our character and life blossom like the most beautiful garden ever imagined when we draw closer to Him. Getting through difficult seasons is challenging and can require more patience and effort than we planned, but when we trust God to rescue us, the results will be glorious.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Because God is faithful, we trust that even during the most challenging of times, through Jesus, all our needs will be met.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


God Is Gracious

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. Matthew 18: 21-22

We all seek to be forgiven, but what happens when forgiveness is asked of us? It takes courage, patience and a generous heart to forgive others when we have been wronged. At times we hold grudges, seek revenge, suppress anger and struggle with releasing hurts that can be very deep and profound. Consequently, we end up suffering more and becoming bitter by not letting go.

So, how does one accomplish this daunting task of forgiveness? Jesus’ death on the cross reminds us of the extreme suffering Jesus endured to provide payment for our sins. So if God’s grace allows us to be forgiven without any cost, we too should be able to extend the same grace and forgive others without receiving payment. When we embrace God’s miraculous gift of grace that has been extended to us through faith and not by any works we do, we will then be able to forgive others, and in doing so experience freedom and true joy.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:6-8

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13

Because God is gracious, through Christ we are able to forgive others and live joyfully.