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Seeds of the Kingdom

Bindweed

by John Berry

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants.
Matthew 13:7, NIV

One of our guests on a recent course called me to look at something in one of our flower beds. She’d found a small rose bush completely covered by bindweed, which is a very invasive creeping plant we’re suffering from a lot in the UK. The guest had carefully removed the bindweed from the plant in order to expose the rose, with its exquisite peach coloured flowers. She was so delighted with the flowers, but even more excited with the spiritual truth God had shown her whilst she was ‘gardening’. (We had to point out to her that health and safety rules mean that she really ought not to do this without proper training, protective clothing and so on!)

God showed her that the bindweed was like the enemy who grows up in our lives and tries to cover over all the beauty in us that God’s created. Not only was the bindweed strangling the life of the plant, but it was hiding what God had created. Of course removing the top growth of the bindweed only serves as a temporary solution, because the plant has a very extensive underground root system, impossible to clear completely without major excavation. However its removal fulfilled the purpose of revealing the truth underneath.

In Matthew 13 Jesus refers to the thorns which grew up, and identified them as the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth. Perhaps we could add to that list of thorns from our own experiences and include the distractions of home repairs and maintenance, the challenges of living with unbelieving families, or the conflicts which arise from the secular society we may live in. Whatever the source of our bindweed experiences, the purpose of the enemy is the same for us all. He wants to stop us from flowering to our full potential as God intends us. If Satan can choke us with the worries of this life he will.

So how important it is to seek God’s unravelling of this bindweed of death, through prayer and ministry, so we can be truly displayed as a testimony to the life of Jesus in us. Whatever restrictions come our way from the world we live in, God’s always seeking to release us from the snares of the enemy and allow us to flower for His glory.

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You know that under the layers of the thorns of this life You’ve made me to be a person of beauty. Please continue to reveal to me what the weeds are so they can be taken off me through the power of Your love. Amen.

John Berry entered the Baptist Ministry more than 40 years ago, and joined the Team at Ellel Glyndley Manor in 2007 with his wife Jennie. They have both now retired from the team but remain as part of the Teaching and Associate Ministry Teams at Glyndley. John and Jennie have seven Grandchildren.

 

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