Pastor Phillips – A Devotional Thought

Dear Family and Friends of Christ Lutheran Church,

Please find below one of my periodic electronic devotions. May God use it to bless you!

Pastor Max

A Devotional Thought

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”

Marcel Proust was a renowned French author of the late 19th and early 20th century. His personal life was about as far removed from yours and mine as you might get, but with this quote he was on to something.

I’m not sure how many of you would count yourself as a “gardener.” If any of you do, I’m willing to bet you’ve never thought of yourself as a gardener of souls. I invite you to do just that. God made us different, men and women, some with this gift and others with that gift, but all gardeners just the same.

While you might have thought you were going to work today in the office or in the home, you are really headed to the garden, where once again you’ll be invested in giving part of yourself away. For those without the Lord, this is a scary proposition. They are wary of dramatic reductions of themselves in their giving of time, talent and treasure to their work and for others. They fear that someday they won’t have enough, so they hold back on their investing of themselves in others today.

Ever been there?

For those with the Lord, investing ourselves in others becomes our joyful work and though tired, weary and perhaps “down” we are never spent. It is exactly in the giving of ourselves that we achieve our full potential as God-made gardeners.

This is a mystery that God explains in the Bible. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” [Proverbs 11:24] The gaining and losing that is described doesn’t have much to do with gold and silver, stocks or bonds. It has everything to do with blossoming souls which is your real wealth.

The most important news you can hear is that the Lord Jesus invested himself in you, but not just ‘to have and to hold.’ By His sacrifice on the cross He has rescued you from the poverty of death and established you in His living garden to do just that….garden! We Jesus people will do that again today by investing ourselves in others through the weeding of admonishment, the planting of eternal hope, the labor of helping, the fertilizing of encouragement, the watering of God’s Word and all leading to souls blossoming in Christ, a harvest for the kingdom.

Feeling drained? Hear this! “A generous man will prosper; he who refreshed others will himself be refreshed.” [Proverbs 11:25]

God’s Word tells us in Genesis 2:8 that “the lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.” You’re no different that Adam in many things, but especially in where God has put you. He has planted a garden around you with himself as the seed and the harvest and appointed you as His gardener to work it today. So…work it and get refreshed!

Mr. Proust was right in this, that we should give thanks for those charming gardeners who make us happy. I give thanks for you because you’re one of those blossoming souls people for me!

It’s a (devotional) thought!

In Christ,
Pastor Max

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