Summary: Many Christians settles at mediocrity of Christians life. Contented with the common activities that common Christians does but I thank God for the few that decided to be more than that. Christians that are decided to go extra mile.
Introduction: Most of the bush stay as bush, they are contented for how tall they can be. But mustard can grow more than a bush, it can grow into a tree. Even ordinary bush could grow into a tree but it will go through tough painful process. As Christian we often become convenient for what we commonly ordinary Christians do. They don't want to grow more because they don't want pain. No pain , no gain. No cross, no glory.
But few makes a difference when they desire to be above mediocity. They want to become a tree not just a bush. Things that must be done in us in order to become a tree.
1. GIVE UP TO GROW UP.
Bushes tends to spread but not to grow taller. It has a lot of branches and leaves that makes it becomes heavy and hard to grow to taller. This generation is the busiest generation because of the presence of high technology. But the question is, "Are they busy for something essential?". "Are they busy for something that help them becomes mature and useful Christians?". We maybe Christians full of activities but not the things that matters most to God.
The hot balloon will not fly higher unless you lessen its weight. What we need to bear the cross of Christ but many are bearing the burden of sin and worldliness. The principle is "You need to give up something in your life to go up". llustration: If you want to train a lemon bush to become a tree, it needs to undergo the painful process of pruning. You need to remove almost 95% of the bush and retain just one trunk and the three way split where it will start and concentrate to grow.
Cast your care upon Him (1 Pet. 5:7); Commit your way to Him (Ps. 37:5); Surrender your life to Him (Lk. 17:33); Give up questionable activities and sin (“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us…” Heb. 12:1a). Or sometimes God will break us or remove something we thought is not harming us but in reality it hinders us in our Christian growth (Jn. 12:24; Gen. 32:25; Jer. 17:7). We cannot grow up because of heaviness in our life. GIVE IT TO GOD!
2. AIM UP TO GROW UP
The key word here is "focus". Aim for nothing and you will hit nothing. Focus on the main thing. (Col. 3:2). A mustard plant can easily sprout out up to 10 ft. at few weeks because it aims to go up. If your aim is to live higher for God, you will become a tree. Any plants will follow the direction where the sunlight is.
lllustration: The Coast Redwood Hyperion – World’s tallest tree. Trees needs to grow higher to enjoy more sunlight. Trees compete for the sunlight that's why they grow taller. Paul is serious in his fight for his faith (1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:6-8).Be serious on the things that matters; focus your energy on the things that has eternal value.Do not allow something to be entangled again (Gal.5:1; 2 Pet. 2:20).
3. ROOTED DOWN TO STAND UP
You can grow tall as a tree but you also need strength to stand the test of time ( 1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Cor. 15:58; Deut. 31:6; Heb. 10:23). Illustration: Wind Swept Trees. This trees can stand a strong consistent wind. It will go with the direction of the wind but the wind cannot stop it to grow.
We won’t grow if we easily give up easily. We are prone give up because of what's happening in our life (Heb. 11:17-19; Job 23:10; 1 Pet. 1:7). Wind swept trees don't fight with the strong wind but it doesn't give up, it will continually grows. Christians ought to learn not to escape the trials and hardship of lives but rather be strong enough to stand any test through the strength of the Lord.
Conclusion: Don’t be contented to just be a bush, be a tree. (1) Give up to grow up, (2) Aim up to grow up , & (3) Rooted down to stand up.