Christmases have become very close to my heart. This Christmas was unique, as each one tends to be. My grandmother gifted me with an apple blossom kit. It was almost ready to start blooming soon. The way the kit is “suppose” to work out is:
- You soak the disk of dried soil and break it up in the pot.
- THEN you plant the flower bulb.
- Water accordingly.
- Place in warm area with access to sunlight.
- The bulb grows and eventually blooms.
So… my flower bulb was out of the box already…without the soil and without water. It DID, however, get a heat source and a little light.
The first bloom occurred on a Sunday, and we were going home the very next day. I told the plant *unnamed at the time, “No, I won’t water you. You will have to wait.”
Clearly, she didn’t listen to me. She just did what she wanted.
By the next morning, the second bloom was ready.
Yep. After getting our luggage and Christmas gifts in the car, this plant and I were seat buddies for the next three hours. Since she was not rooted, she would be flopping around everywhere if not held. I had to be careful to make sure when I left the car for breaks that her delicate petals were not smashed against the frame of the door.
Once we arrived home, after putting things away, I was FINALLY able to get her into soil and water. And I named my apple blossom…uh…Lily!
Lily is her name.
As soon as she had started blooming I knew that God could show me some connection to her and scripture. Not surprisingly, it related to false teaching and also not being grounded in Christ
False teaching is often compared to the snake in the garden with Eve. The serpent spoke truth with a twist. We see this when Jesus was tempted. Satan quoted scripture. He was not speaking pure lies.
Up until last year, I didn’t realize how many ministries, doctrines, teachers, pastors, and believers claim to be Christian but what they do, preach, and encourage go against God’s word. This doesn’t mean EVERYTHING will be blatantly clear that they are going against scripture. Again, to be deceptive means to sound right, and have some truth in it. What better people to use as deceivers then those who don’t know they are deceived. Wolves going after sheep.
The parable of the sower best shows us this. (This doesn’t mean that people who hear the truth in a godly environment can’t fall away. They can.)
The Sower can be found in Luke Ch. 8, we will be focusing on Christ explaining it. (verses 11-15)
- The seed that falls is the word of God.
- Those who are on the path hear the word but then Satan comes and takes the word away from their heart. They do not believe and cannot be saved. Scripture says do not give the devil a foothold. (Ephesians 4:27)
- Those who are on rocky ground hear the word and receive it with joy. However, they have no root so that they believe only for a little while. When they are tested, unfortunately, they fall away.
- Those who hear the word among thorns are choked by life’s worries, riches, and pleasures. Due to this, they cannot mature.
- Those who hear the word among good soil have a noble and good heart. What they hear, they retain. Through perseverance, they produce a good crop.
What this parable points to is location. Where are we hearing the word of God? What are we surrounding ourselves with? Environment is crucial for new believers because if new believers aren’t receiving the milk of scripture, there is no way they can be ready for the meaty and more difficult parts of scripture.
(NIV) Hebrews 5:13, “Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness.”
Some people can be in a godly church with godly people, but if that is all they have and no interaction with Jesus outside of that then they are on rocky ground. This is what it means to be lukewarm. No scripture reading. No worship at home. No prayer. Or seeking more information, which is such a blessing in America. We have books, movies, podcasts and videos from people we can learn from. Biographies of godly men and women to encourage us. Corrie Ten Boom is one of my favorites.
What I did notice is that false teaching easily can help redirect people to anywhere EXCEPT the good soil!
- False teaching will deceive people, encouraging footholds for Satan unbeknownst to them.
- False teaching cannot give us true roots in Jesus. Therefore we can’t grow in Him.
- Many false teachings are focused on self-control and self profit. Think “positive things only” and self-care are used to the point of self-indulgence. Tempting us to think we are “little gods” who can control things and God Himself when it is God Who determines everything. People focus so much on this life and what they can get out of it when scripture says to focus on eternity, not on things that rust and moths can eat. Heads up, the prosperity gospel is a FALSE GOSPEL! (2 Corinthians 4:18, Matt. 6:19, Matt. 6:25, What Is The Prosperity Gospel)
My flower had the soil disk with her and a pot. She needed someone to place her directly where sunlight would be good and in a warm place. She relied on someone to water her soil so she could be planted. She relies still.
If all we are doing is relying on ourselves for advancement in Christ and “playing” the part, we will utterly fail. If our heart is not for Christ, if He isn’t our goal, our life, then we aren’t on good soil. We do need shepherds. We need a body of believers as fellow brothers and sisters (the true Church). Most importantly, we need Jesus to reign as King over us.
We can’t discern anything without Christ, and discernment whether you have the spiritual gift or not IS NEEDED! Discernment is gained through Jesus and His word.
If all you have right now is a Bible and access to the internet, do not fret. If you need a Bible or would like more references check out Bible Hub. There are great people to listen to online (Paul Washer and Pastor Tim Conway are two favorites of mine on YouTube), and if you are a blogger, hello, there are amazing Christian bloggers to connect with. You may just find a friend to connect with outside of blogging!
I have. I’ve been blessed with two sisters and a grandmother in Christ. There have been times I’ve been alone but Jesus has always been there and His Holy Spirit is our Comforter for a reason. Ask and pray for God to give you a community of godly people you can grow with, and keep asking Him even if it takes a long time. If you need a new pot, a new environment that speaks holiness, great! But be willing to grow where you are planted. Do not fade away from Jesus.
- Has God used gardening to speak to you?
- If you have prayer requests for January, let me know.
Monthly Scripture- (NIV) Psalm 85:01, “You, LORD, showed favor to Your land; You restored the fortunes of Jacob.”
Community Prayer Requests | December ’19– Join us in requesting prayer, praying for each other and lifting each other up.
Second Blog: Peeking Beneath