The on line Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
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"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" (Luke 12:27).
Early in the spring we consider what we want to plant (mostly Brooksyne). Through the season we plant not only edible plants like tomatoes, lettuce, squash and peppers but lots of flowers, some planted from seed, some purchased in old-order greenhouses and some from the clearance shelf at Lowes. It's a special delight to see these spent looking flowers come back to life after a light pruning, extra sunshine, some water and a little tender loving care.
About ten years ago Brooksyne planted a packet of annual morning glories from seed. Since that time we have never needed to purposefully plant them again though they are not a perennial flower. Somehow like dandelions they just seem to grow on their own (their seeds drop at the end of their growing season). Like "volunteers" they spring up wherever we may have disposed their clippings, from a seed that fell where they previously grew or from one dropped by a bird or blown by the wind.
These plants have not benefited from our feeding, watering or any weeding, yet they grow, blooming where they are planted providentially by God, demonstrating several character qualities we do well to have in our lives.
Jesus often used illustrations from nature in His teaching. In today's text he states "Consider the lilies..." Perhaps he was pointing out a field of lilies as He said it. In His teaching He pointed out the folly of worry, for as God cares for the lilies he will care for us.
Today let us consider the morning glory and four character traits that are instructive to us. Morning glory is the common name for over 1,000 species of flowering plants in the family Convolvulaceae. I was unable to find how they got the delightful name "Morning Glory" but since they bloom in the morning, I would guess that they are "all in their glorious bloom in the morning", thus the name, Morning Glory.
1) Morning Glories are an example of resourcefulness. They bloom where they're planted and where they're not planted! They climb up just about anything, they're not picky. We need to be resourceful in life, making the most of every opportunity (see Colossians 4:5). Today's "Our Daily Bread" devotional (link below) is an excellent example of this. A young lady who had a calling early in life to be a medical missionary but instead faced a grueling, lifelong debilitating disease. She still sees herself as a medical missionary, but as a patient rather than a doctor!
2 Morning Glories are an example of perseverance. A web search reveals a number of resources with information about how to get rid of morning glories. They are famously tenacious forcing Brooksyne to pull far more vines over the years than the number of seeds she planted long ago! The weather; hot or cool, dry or wet, sunny or cloudy, over the long growing season doesn't stop their growth. Likewise we need to be tenacious and persevering. The call to perseverance is a common theme through Scripture (see this list). Today we'll just use a part of a verse Brooksyne often quotes from Romans 12:12, "persevering in tribulation".
3) Morning Glories are an example of proliferation. I happen to like Morning Glories but Brooksyne, like many serious gardeners, tends to view them as a nuisance since they are very aggressive, intertwining their numerous vines around neighboring ornamentals covering up their foliage and blooms! On occasion I've heard Brooksyne lecture them, "Stay where you were planted and stop being a nuisance to your neighbor." Likewise, there are those who view Christians in two ways: "to one, as an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life" (II Corinthians 2:16). Jesus tells us to spread the gospel seed by going "out into the highways and biways, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled."
4) Morning Glories are an example of love. Their lush green heart-shaped leaves, anywhere from 2 to 5 inches, can serve as visual reminders of the love we are to have one for another because of God's love for us, "Love one another as I have loved you" (John 14).
Today let us consider the morning glory and these four points as to how they may pertain to our own life. Then look around at God's wonderful creation and consider lessons each of us may learn by observing!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, like the Morning Glories we too want to be an example of one who is resourceful, perseveres, is proliferous in reaching others for the cause of Christ, and one who loves others just as Christ loves us. In our love for others, we consider the thousands who are suffering in the midst of the devastating floods in Colorado and earnestly pray that they will find refuge, restoration, and a hope that can only be found in You as their Saviour. May we live in such a way that Your glory is manifested in our lives not just in the morning but all day long. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
A South African reader shared this regarding Morning Glories: "I too like their colors and have used their profusion with great effect on garden fences and screens. Unfortunately due to their invasive nature and their detrimental effect on indigenous vegetation (much like the tares in Jesus' Parable) and the fact they are not indigenous to our country which has water as a scarce resource, they have been declared "invasive aliens" and anyone found still cultivating them is liable for prosecution.
A collection of lovely Morning Glories we enjoy in our yard, in the field across the street, in our gardens, on our fences, you name it....they're there!
Last night we joined our friends Rick and Rachel for dinner in their home in York County. Rachel is a prolific Yankee Candle collector and shared a newer fragrance candle with us. This morning Brooksyne was burning "MMM, Bacon" and my does it smell like bacon sizzling in a frying pan!
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Creation Calls" Video Brian Doerksen
"God Had Other Plans" Our Daily Bread message mentioned in today's encouragement
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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