Friday, August 12, 2011

"Bloom Wherever You Are Planted!"

I was out walking today, and saw these beautiful "weeds" growing in all sorts of places...the little brown-eyed susies were growing in a pile of horse manure, the wild orchid growing out of a crack in the sidewalk, or beside a dried up canal.  And I was thinking, "Why is it so hard for us to do what these little "weeds" are doing?  We are always so concerned about where we are, what's going on around us, what's going to happen to us, who's going to be impressed by what we are doing, what's in it for us, and on and on!

I love these beautiful "weeds"!  And I was thinking when Jesus sat on the hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee on the Mount of Beatitudes, He probably was looking at the "weeds" and flowers growing all around Him and the birds flying above Him when He spoke these beautiful words that are just as alive today as they were when He spoke them over 2,000 years ago:  

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky: They do not sow, or reap, or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you more valuable than they are? And which of you by worrying can add even one hour to his life? Why do you worry about clothing? Think about how the flowers of the field grow; they do not work or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his glory was clothed like one of these! And if this is how God clothes the wild grass, which is here today and tomorrow is tossed into the fire to heat the oven, won’t he clothe you even more, you people of little faith? So then, don’t worry saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For the unconverted pursue these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own."

And then I was thinking about all the times we are told throughout the living Word that we are to do whatever our hands find to do with all our might, and to do everything we do to the glory of God:

"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (I Cor. 10:31)

"And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him."  Colossians 3:17

Yes, I absolutely believe that God has a perfect plan for each of our lives, and that plan often involves a particular place, but I think more often than not, we are to do everything we do in the name of Jesus, to the glory of God, giving thanks to the Father!  And that means no matter where we are, who happens to be looking, whether we ever receive kudos from those around us - in other words, blooming right where we happen to be planted right now!

I was reading John Piper's blog today entitled, "Don't call it simplistic - call it grace!"

We should be slow to treat Jesus as if he doesn’t know what he is doing. He is not naïve in the way he deals with our anxiety. In Matthew 6:25-34 he tells us three times not to be anxious (vv. 25, 31, 34) and gives us eight reasons not to be anxious.

Evidently he thinks this will help. So don’t call it simplistic. Call it grace. Believe him. Take every reason and preach it to your soul as true. Say,

Soul, this is true. Jesus Christ says so. Trust him. He died for you. He loves you. He created you. He knows you. No one — no counselor, no pastor, no friend — knows as much about you as he does. Listen to him. Let these reasons sink in. Bank on them. Now, let’s get up and do what we need to do. Be gone anxiety.

Here’s a summary of what he said:

  1. Life is more than food and the body more than clothing (Matthew 6:25).
  2. God feeds the birds and you are more valuable than they are (Matthew 6:26).
  3. It's pointless. It adds not one hour to your life (Matthew 6:27).
  4. If God clothes ephemeral grass, he will clothe eternal you (Matthew 6:28-30).
  5. Unbelievers are anxious about stuff. And you are not an unbeliever (Matthew 6:32a).
  6. Your father (!) knows that you need all these things you're anxious about (Matthew 6:32b).
  7. When you seek first God's kingdom and righteousness, what you need is added to you.
  8. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Tomorrow's trouble stays there (Matthew 6:34).
(John Piper - Don't Call It Simplistic - Call It Grace!"

So, do not worry, do not be anxious, do whatever your hands find to do to the glory of God, giving thanks to God the Father that He knows what He's doing, He has planted you right where He wants you, so BLOOM, BLOOM, BLOOM, even if He's the only One looking!


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