For our 11th anniversary, my wife gave me a Bonsai tree. I have often admired Bonsais and the ability to craft and grow a tiny miniature tree. What I was not prepared for was the instruction sheet that came with this little tree. In order to keep this tree healthy, alive and growing, one has to do multiple things for it. It is not a get it and forget it type of plant. Nurturing, watering, plucking, replanting, growth wire, misting, and hibernating are just a few things that it needs.
This really reminded me of our Christian Way of Life. There are so many things that we have to be aware of as Christians, so that we stay alive spiritually. We come into our Christian life through a gift. That gift is God’s calling. He has known us for all eternity, and He also knew since then when He was going to call us and how He would call us. It was not a spur of the moment decision. God has called us because He knows that we can make it. Philippians 1:6 should be well known to us. God’s Will is to continue this good work in each of us to the very end.
Once we are called and we respond, we start to grow in this Way of Life. We keep our eyes on the prize of the Kingdom of God. Why else would we want to suffer so much through life’s trials? If we didn’t have an end goal in mind, there would be no reason to endure. I think that is why so many people walk away from the Truth in one way or another. They never truly understood or grasped the importance of our calling.
In Matthew 13:31-32; Mark 4:30-32; and Luke 13:18-19, Christ likens the Kingdom to a mustard seed that continues to grow into a massive tree. This is both in the sense of what the Kingdom will become, but also how we ought to view it in our lives as humans. If it is all important to us, we will continue to work towards it. Matthew 17:20 and Luke 17:5-6 show us that our faith, even if it is as the size of a mustard seed, will be able to accomplish great things, because we have also the faith of God and Christ living in us.
Leviticus 26:3-4 shows us that through obedience to the Truth, we will receive the things that we need to continue living. We will receive blessings from God. Blessings come in many ways, even ones that we don’t expect. Psalm, chapter 1, shows us that when we are obedient and meditate on God’s Ways until they become our Way of Life, then we shall prosper like a tree planted by a river.
With water and blessings also comes the need to be pruned. Romans 11:11-31 and Luke 13:6-9 show the amazing possibilities that come from our calling and that God is the one who directs and places people where He wants them. But we should not ignore the fact that God will and does prune where He needs to, so as to help His people. John 15:1-9 shows that we cannot wander off on our own, on some pointless tirade because we want to be right or think we know something that the ministry does not know. Christ’s very strong warning here is that we must stay in the Church; otherwise, we will wither and be thrown out.
Our goal is not that far out in front of us now. Let us make sure we stay on track in regard to this Way of Life. We need to make sure we have the proper goal(s) in front of us so that we stay focused. Like a tree that continues to grow with the right care, we too can continue to grow stronger in our faith and confidence that we are doing God’s Will and accomplishing what He has set out for us to accomplish.