Weeds and Sin; both will choke us to death. As Spring has finally arrived, I must begin my never ending work in the yard: grass, ivy, dandelions, blackberry vines, weeds of every variety, pruning, planting, etc, etc, etc.
Have you ever wondered, as you're dealing with ivy, blackberries, etc... why? Why must we be so abused by Nature? Every time I'm pulling weeds, especially ivy or blackberries, I begin to curse Adam and Eve. They are the reason we have weeds and thorns; they are the reason that the entire Earth is under God's curse, anxiously waiting for its redemption in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If only Adam and Eve, actually, Eve and Adam, to be more correct, if only they had simply not eaten from that one tree... that's all they had to do... everything on Earth was theirs to enjoy but no... it wasn't enough... they had to have the fruit of that tree! One simple thing... why didn't God make the one rule something else... why not, 'Thou shalt not hold thy breath for 7 minutes' or... 'Thou shalt not run 20 miles?' They could have kept those commandments without any problem but they, also, could have kept the one they were given without any problem... but they didn't.
Sometimes, I think, when I get to Heaven I want to give Adam and Eve a piece of my mind but as I'm honest with myself, I realize that even if they had never sinned, I, undoubtedly, would have found my own sin to commit. It might have been a small thing, even a very small thing but I would have sinned, nonetheless. I'm sure of it but I could have been faithful to not run 20 miles or hold my breath for 7 minutes.
Ivy and blackberries are like that. They both start out as just a seed and then a tiny little plant, just a small stem with a couple of leaves. If you had seen one and left it and then come back out to see it the next day, there would have been very little change, you might not notice any growth at all. Sin is like that; it begins as a small thing... just a little thought that flashes across your mind and then... it's gone.
If you left the ivy plant alone for a week and then came back out to see it you would definitely notice real change and new growth but still a small innocent looking little plant. But... if left untended, that little vine would eventually begin to wrap around your legs, overtake your entire yard and then your neighbors' yards as well and finally, the whole neighborhood would be swallowed up in ivy and blackberries and eventually die but hopefully, one of your neighbors is more diligent and faithful than you so that he would begin to kill the weeds, finally coming in to rescue you and your home.
If you were to catch that little thought and began thinking on it, it would begin to take root in your mind. Eventually, you would begin to act on that thought, putting it into sinful action... just a little sin that no one would know about but finally, just like ivy or blackberries, that sin would entangle you to the point of choking out your life.
The best way to know your yard, and to protect it, is to watch over your yard, carefully seeing and pulling out even the smallest weed. The same is true for our lives and hearts. We must watch over them; we must faithfully set our minds on things that are good and carefully guard against any stray thought of sin. The first thought is not sin but if we think on it, it will eventually produce sin.
'Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.' James 1:12
'Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.' Heb 12:1
'Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on the things that are above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.' Col 3:1
'But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.' Gal 5:16
The World thinks of Spring as the time of new beginnings. In reality it is simply a continuation of what has always been happening; there are simply more flowers.
However, this Spring really could be a time of new beginnings for each of us. The return of the Lord Jesus Christ, in the clouds to receive us up to Himself, in the Rapture, will happen one day very soon. That will definitely be a time of new beginnings for some of us while many will be left behind, but it will also be a time of sudden termination. That moment will be it! Our opportunities for glorifying God and earning unimaginable eternal rewards will have instantly stopped... no more... that's it!
Some think that just being with Jesus will be enough. Certainly, it will be enough. The Bible says that it's a fool who says, 'There is no God.' But also, it is a fool who disregards and despises the incomparability of all the wonders that God will have thought up to bless and honor His children throughout Eternity. How sad to have to sit back and watch as other, more faithful children of God are showered with unbelievable treasures throughout Eternity; to have to sit and watch them and not to receive the same blessings... what a tragedy for many, that will be.
'Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.' 1 Cor 2:9
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what He has done, whether good or bad.” 2 Cor 5:10
'… and each one will receive His own reward according to his own labor.' 1 Cor 3:8
'And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.'Rev 22:12
'I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.'Rev 2:23
'So Jesus answered them and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brother or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or land, for My sake and the gospel’s, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time … and in the age to come, eternal life.' Mark 10:29
If we allow weeds to grow, they will eventually choke the life from our yards and deny us the reward of a nice, clean, relaxing yard. If we allow sin in our lives, it will eventually choke the life from our hearts and deny us the eternal rewards that are far beyond our imagination.
The choice is ours: laziness or a nice yard... spiritual diligence and integrity or a rewardless eternity.