Bible Ballistics: Hot House? July 28, 2013 Vol. 2 No.11
As we endure the “dog days of summer”, I hope it is pleasant where you are. We have enjoyed some cooler days recently and that brings me to our topic this week.
The “hot house” — an unnatural environment used for raising plants out of season or natural climate, or often used to encourage the rapid growth or development of something or someone.
I have thought about this during the recent days as we have had lots of rain here in Virginia and although I don’t have much of a “green thumb” I have seen the plants on our porch flourish as if they were in a “hot house”. The measured sun, the moisture and my vigilant care—sort of – have brought the reward of lovely plants that are growing and blessing us with beauty.
I couldn’t help but think of us as Christians. Are we “hot house” Christians? Do we only flourish when things are controlled or perfect and for our own benefit, or do we trust in the Lord enough to allow Him to grow us where we are planted, to bring us to bloom where we are? Do I trust God to do His work to “conform” me into the image of Jesus?
- Romans 8:28-29 reminds us, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.”
God has promised that HE is working all things to conform us into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ. Am I willing to trust God to lead, direct and accomplish His purpose in me?
- The Psalmist writes in Psalm 37:23-24, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the Lord upholdeth him with his hand.” What makes a good man or woman, boy or girl? Only Jesus!!!
- Psalm 119:132-133 says, “Look thou upon me, and be merciful unto me, as thou usest to do unto those that love thy name. 133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.” Luke 13:2-5 “And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.” Jesus calls us to repent and trust Him for our salvation, not our own goodness.
- Paul also shows us in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” And again in John 3:3-7, “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
Jesus declares that we must be “born again”, we must be born of God’s spirit to have eternal life.
- John 1:12-13 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” , points out to us that this “new birth” is a work of God!!! It can’t be inherited from your family, it can’t be worked up by your own goodness or ethics, and it can’t be imparted from one person to another. It is a supernatural work of God. Jesus died on that awful cross to pay for my sin. For your sin. For all sin. In Matthew 1:21 the angel told Joseph, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Jesus came to SAVE us from our sins. SIN is the issue. Jesus overcame sin, and we live for Him by His Spirit within us.
- Colossians 1:27 says, “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christinyou, the hope of glory:”
When we are born again we receive the Spirit of Christ as the “earnest” of our salvation,
- Ephesians 1:13-14 “In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”
When we receive the Holy Spirit we have the empowerment to “bloom where we’re planted”, to “grow where we are planted”, to be all that God wants us to be. Day by day to become more like Jesus. To be one that doesn’t need a “hot house” to grow, but one who allows God to do HIS work in and through me.
- In John 4:34, “Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work..”. God’s will and work accomplished in and through me. Jesus, the very Son of God, came not to do His own work but the work of His Father here on earth. Whose work am I doing? Whose work are you doing?
Do you require a “hot house” environment to work for God? Do you only trust Him when things are good? Job said two things which I’d like to paraphrase here: first “shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord and not adversity?”, and the second “though He slay me, still will I trust HIM.”?
Do we know enough about God to trust Him as Job did, to keep on keeping on when things seemingly turn against us on every hand?
Are we learning to “Lean on Jesus”, as the song says? Or are we like the people of Israel in the days of the Judges, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes”….
Do I have to be pampered, tended to and bottle fed by others or as Peter says in 1 Peter 2:2, do we “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:”
Am I growing? But don’t stop at the milk, as Hebrews 5:12-14 reminds us “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
We are to press on to maturity and grow to eat that meat of the “Word” and not stay on the milk.
Are you willing to step out in faith and obedience and let God do HIS work in and through you?
Are you ready to be growing and blooming where God has placed you?
I hope you will ponder these things this week and let God do HIS work in your heart and mind. Have a great and blessed week growing and blooming where ever God has YOU!