by Pastor Tim Burt
Not far from my home is a house that used to be owned by a couple whom were tremendous gardeners. I heard that he worked for a nursery and it was obvious that he and his wife knew what they were doing from the constant display of beautiful flowers blooming each season. It was a delight to see every time I’d pass their house on one of my long runs.
One Spring, I noticed something different about their house. I began to wonder if something had changed. I wondered if they had moved. The house wasn’t looking as it had in past years. The flower gardens were full of weeds. I saw the neighbor next-door out in their front yard and and asked if the same people lived there and if they were all right. He told me that they had moved and he had new neighbors. They were not gardeners and neglected the gardens because they simply weren’t interested, nor knew what to do. Each year that went by, the garden looked worse and worse until the weeds overtook and killed most of it. It was so sad. If a picture could ever be painted of neglect and it’s outcome, this was the picture!
God has something to say about neglect. He says we shouldn’t neglect reading His word. It helps us come to know His will, His character, and His voice to our heart. He also says we shouldn’t neglect gathering together in the church, as the church. This is where as the body of Christ, we hear God’s word taught, we learn together, become community together, and strengthen each other’s as we reach the world with the love of Jesus. God says we shouldn’t neglect wise counsel to protect us from our own prideful thinking or stubborn ways. He says we shouldn’t neglect the spiritual gifts—those talents and abilities within us to touch others with His love. His word teaches us that we shouldn’t neglect godly relationships and friendships, knowing that they are a part of His plan to become voices and examples to keep us in check and anchored in living a life for Him. And He with great warning we shouldn’t neglect our salvation—ridding our lives of sinful ways, and staying in intimate relationship with Him as we live with purpose-filled lives for Him. He says don’t neglect it because if you do, how will you escape the life and its consequences you were heading toward before Jesus rescued you?
Check yourself and ask, Am I neglecting any these areas that God has told me to fill my life with so that I may life life to the fullest in Him? If so, tell the Lord your sorry and ask Him to help you establish, not neglect those areas, and turn the garden of your life into the beautiful one that everyone wants to behold! More in Part Two tomorrow…
Hebrews 2:3 (The Message Bible) says, “It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we’ve heard so that we don’t drift off. If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation?”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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