I now have a yard. For those who live in the deserts of the west, that's a large plot of abundantly watered soil lushly growing grass... lots of grass. I love grass. I hate weeds.
This morning (Sunday) before heading to church, I slipped into our back yard and pulled some weeds. It's an endless process. They regrow, regrow, and regrow.
I thought about where they come from. Some blow in from other yards. You always have more weeds if your neighbor has weeds. Some other grow from seeds of previous weeds. You're more likely to have weeds if you had them before. Finally, some come from who-knows-where. They just appear. There's no sense in some weeds, except for the fact that you have a yard, and yards have weeds.
To kill weeds, you have to get the root. They always regrow from roots. So, you've got to remove them at the source - always go for the roots. Leaves are just weed dressing. Tear them off and they grow back in days.
As I pulled weeds, I thought about my life spiritually. I thought about how sins and weeds are similar. In fact, just like weeds, if you don't pull up sins by the roots and remove them, they'll eventually take over your life.
Some sins appear because we are sinful people, every one of us. Some sins appear because our neighbor sins and eventually we follow suit and sin, too. Other sins arise because we entertained other sins before them. Seeds were left behind and human beings tend to germinate seeds of sin. We're fertile ground.
Romans 13:14 mentions pulling spiritual weeds. It uses different language, though. Listen. "Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." I like to think of this verse as sin replacement therapy. Put away the old things, your sins. Put on Jesus in their place. Instead of doing the old stuff, do what Jesus would do.
We all have weeds to pull. "All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Even after we receive God's forgiveness through Jesus, we have to keep on pulling weeds. We won't stop until Jesus returns.
Answer this. Do you hate sin as much as you hate weeds? Good question, isn't it? I'd say I'm pulling for you. But, every person has to pull their own weeds. So, pause, pray and look for weeds to pull in your life.
Crossing the Lines
The ideas behind this blog emerged from my study and preaching of a message I titled "A Single Step." It was an unexpected message out of Philippians 2:12-18. I'm the one who was surprised. I had a whole different idea of where the sermon would go. Then, I got into the text and followed it. That led, eventually, to the response by individuals after the message. God worked in me and in our congregation. He's still at work.
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