Near our home there is a small cottage where an elderly man used to live and tend his beautifully kept garden. The garden was always immaculate, with not a weed to be seen and many colourful flowers as well as lush vegetable plants. His vegetables always looked far more productive than anything I attempted to grow!
However, after this neighbour died a year or so ago, the garden was neglected and it is now unrecognisable from its former glory. It is overgrown with weeds and brambles, and there is no sign of any fruit or vegetable plants. Seeing it now made me realise what a lot of work the owner must have put in to keeping his garden weed free and ensuring that it produced fruit.
The same is true in our lives. We need to work continually at keeping ourselves “weed free” so that our lives can be fruitful for the Kingdom. What kind of “weeds” can take over our lives and choke our fruitfulness? Obviously it can be any form of sinfulness, which often starts with seemingly small things that take root and spread, just as weeds do in a garden. Or it can be worldliness creeping into our lives - our ambitions, attitudes, the way we spend our time or our money. Our carnal nature, with its selfish desires, can also stifle the life of God in us unless it is held in check and the fruit of it put to death when it starts to appear.
We are told in Hebrews 12:14 to “Make every effort … to be holy.” And Hebrews 12:15 says “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up...” It takes effort to keep our lives weed free! That part is our responsibility and then it is God who enables the good fruit to grow.
Has the garden of your life been neglected and is there unwanted fruit developing there? Why not do some weeding today, so that the fruit that Jesus wants to produce in you can flourish even more?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, I am sorry for neglecting to weed out of my life the things that displease you and that choke the good fruit in my life. Please help me not to be passive about this in future. Amen.
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