Cultivating A Peaceful Heart
Today I want to share with you the idea of cultivating a peaceful heart. By that I mean getting to a point in your life where you truly have the peace that comes from Godís Kingdom, rooted deep down in your heart which will help you overcome every situation that your going through.
And then, I want to talk about that old familiar saying, ďBloom where you are planted.Ē I donít know who coined the phrase or when I first heard it, but I do remember thinking to myself and maybe youíve thought this too, ďYeah I want to do that. I want to bloom where God has planted me.Ē
But at the time, I wasnít even quite sure what kind of flower I was, or more spiritually speaking, what gifts or talents did I have that could possibly bloom and be useful in Godís Kingdom?
And lastly, we will finish up the day by planting some seeds of peace, hope, love, and joy ĎknowingĒ that when we plant things in Godís Kingdom we can expect that the Lord will indeed give us a harvest.
Pray with me. Father we believe that You are here with us today. We pray that as we talk and think about Your Words that Your Words, Your seeds, will take root in our hearts and minds that we may be grounded in You.
We pray that as Your Word grows in each of us, that in due season, and at the proper time, Your Word will produce the harvest of a peaceful heart.
And Lord We pray that you will show each of us how to bloom and how to bless others in our lives with the gifts and talents that You have planted in each of us.
In Jesus name. Amen
I have to be honest and tell you that after I decided to use the title Cultivating a Peaceful Heart, I began to wonder if I had picked the right title, because at first I was finding it difficult to put my thoughts together and I think what I was really trying to say with this title is that having a peaceful heart is possible, but keeping peace in your heart is not always easy.
In gardening the word ďcultivateĒ means to clear your garden of weeds, especially the ones growing nearest your plants, because if you leave them there too long the roots from the weeds will grow down deep enough that they can choke out the roots of the plants that you do want to grow.
If you try to dig them up after they have had a chance to grow you could damage the roots of the plants that you are trying to grow. So its best to keep an eye on it, you know, watch over your garden diligently, so you can get in there early and get the weeds out before they grow to deeply.
This is true in the Kingdom as well. Because in order for Godís peace and Godís Kingdom to grow in us, He sometimes has to ďcultivateĒ out of us our old ways of thinking, which in the Kingdom are negative thoughts or negative seeds, if you will, that the enemy has planted in the garden of your mind.
Because once we have been planted in, and while we are trying grow in GodĎs Kingdom, the enemy of our spiritual growth, slips in and sows seeds of doubt and uncertainty about who you are in Godís Kingdom and about what value you hold to and in the Kingdom.
What we have to know or concentrate on, in order for us to grow strong and healthy in the Lord, is what He says about each one of us, and what value He places on your gifts and talents. But, figuring out who you are in God is like caring for a garden that you have to plant over and over again, at the beginning of each new growing season.
The good news is, that every time you replant your garden, you become better at taking care of your garden, and the harder it is for the enemy to creep back in and sow those negative seeds back into your garden.
With the help of an object lesson we are going to talk about a few basic things needed to grow a strong healthy plant, and through these examples Iíll try to make a spiritual connection for you that I hope will encourage you to be at peace with,
and personally confident in your own growth in Godís Kingdom.
5 Things Needed to Grow a Peaceful Heart In The Garden of Your Mind
Were going to talk about five basic things needed to grow something. The scriptures give us plenty of examples of sowing and reaping. Which actually made it hard for me to pick certain scriptures that would fit each example, because the more I looked into each one of them individually, the more I found that the thoughts or ideas presented in scriptures actually fit into more than one of these 5 examples.
What are those five things?
A Container, Soil, Seeds, Water, and of course the Sun.
If you want to grow something you need to have a place to plant your seeds. Whether it be flowers or vegetables, or whether you have an indoor or outdoor garden, you need somewhere or something to plant your seeds in.
What do we know from scriptures? What did, and what does, God use to plant things in?
We know that God created the earth, and used the earth to plant a garden, and in the garden he planted a man. And then He completed the garden with the most beautiful flower of them all. A flower so beautiful that when Adam saw this flower he called her -Women!
We know that Jesus was planted in the earth, and in due time He rose up out of the ground and brought the harvest of redemption for all mankind.
God used Jesus to contain His Holy Spirit and when Jesus died on the cross, God cast the seed of the Holy Spirit all over the earth so that the spirit of God could be planted in us.
If you want your plants to be strong and healthy, the roots need to be surrounded by a good foundation. So you really want your soil, your ground, the place where your going to plant your seeds to be the best ground or soil for the seed.
What do we know from scriptures about soil, or ground, or foundation?
We know that Adam was formed from the dust of the ground, and that from Adamís seed we have all come to be.
We know that from the foundation of the earth, God intended to save mankind from the negative seeds that were sown in the garden by the enemy of our spiritual growth.
We know that Godís Word is our foundation, our good and solid ground and if we surround ourselves with this good soil, this good foundation, our roots have a better chance of getting stronger, making it easier to take hold of the promises that come when you have been planted in Godís Kingdom.
Seeds of course come in all shapes and sizes, and they produce a wide variety of plants. If your new to gardening, the seed packets come complete with instructions, and anyone who wants to can grow something can, it just takes a little hard work and you have to be willing to commit yourself to the task of caring for a garden.
What do we know from the scriptures about seeds?
We know that from the earth, God brought forth the grass, and every tree bearing itís seed within itself.
We know that Jesus was a type of a seed planted in the earth, and through the shedding of Godís seed, Godís Spirit has been planted in us.
We know that in Jesus dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead. Meaning that everything God wanted Jesus to be, every potential for success that God had planted in Jesus came to pass, because Jesus believed in who he was and what his value to the Kingdom would be.
You can believe this too, because when Jesus is planted in your heart, you gain the potential success of becoming all that God intends you to be.
If you want your plant to grow you have to give it water! Thereís really nothing more I can say about this because without water your plant is just plain going to die!
What do we know from scripture about water?
We know that God caused a mist to come up from the earth, and it watered the whole face of the ground.
We know that Jesus told the Samaritan women that He would give her living water, that she would thirst no more.
We also know that the Holy Spirit is a type of water coming down from heaven,
and the best way to get this living water is to worship the Lord with all your might. With everything that is within you bless His Holy name.
If you ever find yourself feeling neglected, run down or un-watered by the life around you, take time to worship the Lord, because just as Godís Word is the good foundation for our roots, worship is the life giving water for your soul.
Every plant needs the sun in order to grow. The sun is essential to the continued growth of the plant. Without the sun you canít grow anything. You could use an artificial light if you had to, but why would you when the sunís light is so abundant?
So it is in the Kingdom. Donít settle for anything less than the Perfect Light of the Son of God. Jesus is your light and your salvation. Godís Word is a lamp unto your feet. Those that sat in great darkness have seen a great light.
Find yourself in the word of God. What examples in scripture best describe you to a "tea"?
Are you a doubting Thomas or in the case weíll say a doubting Tina?
Are you meticulous Martha who worryís about everything?
If you keep your mind focused on Jesus, and if you allow His words to take root and grow in your heart and mind, you will have the peace that passes all understanding. And when your strong and healthy in the Lord you too will find it very easy to cast the seeds of peace, hope, love and joy that God has so abundantly planted in you.
Bloom Where You Are Planted
Blooming where you are planted simply means using the place that God has planted you and caused you to grow in Him to explore the gifts and talents he has given you.
What kind of flower are you? What things are you good at? What things do you like to do?
Are you a cook? Do you enjoy preparing meals and having company over for dinner? The we need your gift to help feed hungry people on Sunday mornings.
Do you like a clean house?
If you enjoy the look and feeling of a clean house, then we need your talent for cleaning in the kitchen. And the sanctuary usually needs picking up after Sunday morning services.
Or are you a gardener like me? We have several places around the church that have bushes and flowers growing, that desparetly need to be cared for each summer.
The good news is, it doesnít really matter what type of flower you are because God has created each and every one of us to be beautiful, bright, and alive in His garden.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Go now and bloom in Jesus name! Amen!
Ladies Breakfast Tea
Apostolic Bible Church
Saint Paul, MN
March 28, 2009
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