IT IS THE POWER OF GOD THAT GROWS OUR FAITH
When we come to believe in Christ, a seed of faith is planted in our hearts. As the seed of faith begins to grow, our desire is to thrive under the loving care of our Master Gardener. We respond to His watchful care as He grows in us a faith that is steadfast and unshakable. As our faith matures, we become all that He created us to be. We bear fruit for the kingdom, bringing Him great glory.
“They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper.” – Psalm 1:3
God alone grows our faith. It is not by our own power, but by His power that this miraculous growth of faith occurs within us… from seed to plant to fruit. How does He work this miracle in our lives?
† God grows our seed of faith in the soil of His kingdom
“For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” – 1 Peter 1:23
Just as a seed cannot germinate without being sown in the soil, so the seed of faith sown in our hearts miraculously brings forth new life. As the seed “dies” in the ground, so we “die” to our old self and are born anew in Christ. We are “planted” in the eternal kingdom of God.
† He guides and oversees our growth of faith
“The Lord will always guide you; He will satisfy you in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden.” – Isaiah 58:11
Gardening requires patience. Just as the growth of a plant cannot be rushed, so we cannot rush our growth to spiritual maturity. Young faith needs special attention. Under the Master Gardener’s patient care, our faith grows slowly and steadily.
† He shines the sunshine of His grace on us
“From His fullness we have all received grace upon grace.” – John 1:16
Plants soak in the rays of the sun to produce energy for their growth. God’s divine grace shines on us, sinking deep into our spirits. He infuses us with His power to live the Christian life. Our faith grows in the light of His love.
† He showers us with Living Water
“Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” – John 4:14
Water is essential to plants. Without it they wither and die. Their roots drink in the rain and their leaves absorb the dew. As believers, we thrive in our new life on the Living Water that only Christ can provide. Abiding in Him, our spiritual thirst is satisfied for eternity.
† He nourishes us with His Word
“Blessed are those who hear the word of God and follow it.” – Luke 11:28
A plant’s roots push deep into the soil, taking in key nutrients for growth. As believers, we delve deeply into God’s Word, hearing and heeding the instructions and revelations He gives us. His Word seeps well into our spirits, nourishing and growing our faith.
† He strengthens us to weather the elements
“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13
Young plants need to grow hardy to bear up under the harsh elements of nature. Under the Master Gardener’s care, our faith grows strong and enduring to withstand the harshness of the world that threatens our faith… the frosts of rejection, the winds of adversity, the heat of challenges to our spiritual walk.
† He breaks up the hardness of our hearts
“See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” – Hebrews 3:12
Plants grow best in well cultivated soil. A gardener tills the soil, breaking up the dirt to allow the roots to penetrate. The Master Gardener tills the soil of our hearts, convicting us of sin and unforgiveness. As we repent and forgive, our roots of faith adhere firmly to the kingdom’s soil.
† He pulls the world’s weeds from our lives
“The Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself.” – Psalm 4:3
Weeds can choke a plant and steal its important nutrients. God desires to sever us from the world and separate us unto Himself. As we grow closer to our Savior, He weeds away the worldly influences in our lives and aligns our ways with His ways.
† He is glorified by our fruit
“I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures.” – John 15:16
A gardener’s joy and reward for his efforts is a mature plant bearing fruit. The Master Gardener rejoices when our faith ripens and comes to fruition. Faith is a fruit of the Spirit created within us by the Creator Himself. His reward is the glory our mature faith brings to Him… fruit that lasts for eternity.