Summary: 7 of 10 of the series, Supernatural Transformation. Jesus was Pure in heart largely due to the fact that He guarded His heart. Our mind is like a greenhouse - what is planted there will grow - what are seeds are being sown in your mind?
THE GREENHOUSE EFFECT
Read at beginning of service:
1 Peter 5:8-9 (NIV)
8 Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
Galatians 6:7-8 (NIV)
7 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. 8 The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
What if I owned a greenhouse that had been given to me by my father? He used state of the art equipment to create the ideal structure for growth. The atmosphere is perfect. The lighting exact. The temperature is suited for flowers, fruit, or anything I want, and what I want is flowers and fruit.
I ask you to join me as I collect some seeds to plant. You’ve always thought I was a bit crazy, but what I do next removes all doubt. You watch me walk into a field and strip seeds off of weeds. Crab grass seeds, dandelion seeds, grass burr seeds. I fill a bag with a variety of weed seeds and return to the greenhouse.
You can’t believe what you’ve just seen. "I thought you wanted a greenhouse full of flowers and fruit."
Then don’t you think you ought to plant flower seeds and fruit seeds?"
"Do you have any idea how much those seeds cost? Besides, you have to drive all the way to the garden center to get them. No thanks, I’m taking the cheap and easy route."You walk away mumbling something about one brick short of a load. (Just Like Jesus, by Max Lucado, p. 115-116)Everyone knows that you harvest what you sow. If you plant corn you’ll harvest corn. If you plant wheat, you’ll harvest wheat. If you plant a quarter, you’ll harvest a…wait a minute here! We only wish that was true! It’s funny though, what we know when we develop land, we tend to forget when we cultivate our hearts.
As we continue on with this series on supernatural transformation its important to realize that there is what I like to call a "greenhouse effect" happening to the heart.
the greenhouse effect
Your heart is like a greenhouse. There are many similarities between the greenhouse I described to you and each one of our hearts. It is a gift from your Father. It has everything necessary for growth. But your heart, like a greenhouse, needs to be managed correctly.
The thoughts that enter our greenhouse are like seed. Some produce fruit or flowers, others produce weeds. Sow seeds of hope and be encouraged. Sow seeds of doubt and be discouraged. We see this worked out in real life wherever we look. Some people are patient and forgiving. Others are sour, gloomy, and unforgiving. Why? Some have sown weeds and thorns and others have sown flowers and fruit.
We can see this pattern illustrated in life:
Two drivers are stuck in the same traffic jam. One is angry, the other is calm.
Two mothers face the same tragedy. One is destroyed, the other determined.
Two executives face the same success. One is cocky, the other is grateful to God.
Two husbands commit the same failure. One assumes God’s grace is limited, the other is grateful God’s grace abounds. (Lucado, pp. 117-118)
A man came home one day to a cranky wife. Arriving at 6:30pm, he spent an hour trying to cheer her up. Then he had an idea. "Let’s start over and pretend I’m just getting home." He went outside and came back in. His wife said: "It’s 7:30, and you’re just now getting home from work?" (Lucado, P.117)What seeds do you think the wife was sowing? Were they flowers? Were they tasty delicious fruits? If the heart is a greenhouse and our thoughts are seeds, do you think its important to be careful about what we sow? Would it be important to take care in watching which seeds we allow to come into the greenhouse? What about having a guard at the door? Is not guarding the heart an important task? What does the Bible say?
Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
What do you think about this statement? If you test the principle in your life you find that it is true! What is in our hearts comes out in our lives!!
Luke 6:45 (NIV)
45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.