Summary: Your God-given time, talents and treasures all fall under one general rule in life - You get out what you put in!
The Irrefutable Law of Gardening
Griffith Baptist Church – 4/20/08
Key verse: 2 Corinthians 9:6 - But this I say, He which sows sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once had a discussion with a man who firmly believed that children should not be given formal religious instruction, but should be free to choose their own religious faith when they reached maturity. Coleridge did not disagree, but later invited the man into his somewhat neglected garden. ’Do you call this a garden?" the visitor exclaimed. ’There are nothing but weeds here!"
’Well, you see," Coleridge replied, ’I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself." Daily Walk, March 28, 1992
There is no area in life that you are not responsible to God for.
You simply do not have that liberty
We are in this life as tenders of the garden God gives us. These can be broken down into three main areas
o Time – reading your Bible, witnessing, prayer, wise use of time, the basics of the Christian life
How do you use your time each day?
o Talents – our gifts and our abilities
o Treasures – our possessions, our bodies, and our finances
They are all subject to a universal law that governs everything you do all of your life
I have named it, the irrefutable law of gardening, and it goes like this
The irrefutable law of gardening is this: You get out what you put in.
The Bible puts it this way, Galatians 6:7 - Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap
This is true for every area of life.
Transition Statement: As you get ready to have your garden, you have to prepare it first, which involves two crucial steps, cultivating (improve and prepare) the soil and clearing the weeds.
A. Cultivate the Soil
i. Turn it over
a. Bury the past (like burying the hard crusty surface)
b. Break up hardness – Hosea 10:12 - Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.
ii. Take out the hard stuff
a. Rocks of indifference
b. Debris of self
c. Fragments of fear
B. Clear the Weeds
i. Weeds will choke out and rob you of better fruit or any fruit at all
ii. Get rid of and watch out for the weeds of:
a. Lack of faith
c. Bad habits
Transition Statement: After you have prepared your garden, you are ready to plant, which also involves fertilizing and watering.
i. Be pro-active
a. The time to plant is not when you’re hungry but before hunger strikes.
b. Plant for the future.
ii. Be wise
a. Plant only those seeds that will produce what is beneficial
b. Seeds of kindness, generosity, compassion, biblical virtues
iii. Be liberal
a. The more you sow the more you reap
b. Hiding your seeds produces nothing (parable of the unjust steward, Matt. 25:14-30)
c. Holding back your seeds produces very little
d. Parable of the sower – Matthew 13:3-9 - 3And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; 4And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: 5Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: 6And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. 7And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: 8But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. 9Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
a. Trust in God
b. Believe in the outcome God has promised
a. Nothing will grow by wishful thinking
b. It takes sweat and getting your hands dirty
c. James 2:14 - 14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.