Sunday, April 17, 2011

Springtime in Heaven

            Happy April to you! By now, you should be done with the agony of tax preparation and settled into a beautiful spring. My garden is blooming and fruiting, and I hope that your garden or potted-plant window is also responding to the sunshine and nutrients. I practically hop around the back yard for joy that my peach and almond trees are setting their green fruits, that the mulberries are putting on leaves and the beginnings of tiny berries. I nearly lose control when I see the microscopic buds that will become seedless grapes!
            When I see the baby fruits growing on the trees and vines, I think of Galatians 5:22-23: The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
            Is the Master Gardener also rejoicing over the fruits that His garden is producing? Is He pointing to you proudly and joyfully, and saying, “Today my child [insert your name here] sprouted the fruits of gentleness and peace”? Is He rejoicing over you with singing?
            Rather than anthropomorphizing God, making Him into a human image, let’s imagine that as we are His children and have inherited His characteristics by both birth and adoption, that we can project our emotions back to our Creator and Father. I really can envision God becoming excited over the growth of His children’s godly characteristics.
            We see the fruits of the Spirit in each other as we corporately and individually experience spiritual growth. And we’re pretty excited about growth of another kind: growth of the family of God. Evangelism teams, supported by your contributions and God’s grace, evangelize thousands of people around the world each year. Hundreds are baptized, but untold thousands have found the love of God so compelling that they’ve given their lives unreservedly for Jesus to change. More flowers and fruits for the Gardener.
            Take a walk in the Lord’s garden. Let Him cultivate a garden of fruit in your spirit. It’s springtime in heaven, too!

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