It’s summertime! Time for playing in the backyard, jumping in the sprinklers, BBQ’ing with your friends…and the relentless attempt to keep up with the yard work.
I realize this might seem sick to you, but I enjoy doing yard work. I first started mowing lawns for some extra school money. Since I was a teenager, I have spent my summers trying to make people’s lawns look great. By the time I was 14, I had bought my own lawn mower and had a little middle school business. Now that I’m an adult and too cheap to pay a lawn service company, I continue to mow my own lawn. I enjoy seeing the immediate results of a fresh-cut lawn.
During the summer months we get the privilege of seeing the beauty of God’s creation in all its green glory. Plants and trees that are healthy are green and growing during the summer months. And if you see a tree or a plant that isn’t green during this time of the year, you know immediately there is something wrong… dangerously wrong, with that plant. When you see brown grass or brittle bushes during the summer months, you know they are already starting to die.
Did you know that this is true of other things in life? It’s not just limited to plants. Your faith should also be green and growing. And just like a plant, the problems with your faith are deep and dangerous long before the leaves start to turn brown and the stems become brittle. The rest of the article will give you a few things to keep in mind if you want a green and growing faith.
Ultimately, the strength of a plant lies in its roots. When the roots are strong, the plant will be healthy. If the plant isn’t healthy -especially during this time of year- you know immediately that there’s something wrong with the roots. One of the dangers with a fragile faith is shallow roots.
Jesus gave this illustration about people that built their faith on the wrong foundation in Matthew 7:24-27.
He described building your faith on him like the strong foundation for your house. You could also use the analogy of deeply rooting your faith on the Gospel. In this analogy, Jesus assumes that there will be storms in life. He says that when the winds blow and the rain beats against the house, as long as the foundation is solid and the roots are deep in the Gospel, the house will be able to withstand the storm.
Your faith will be tested. A faith with shallow roots will quickly become brown and brittle when life gets difficult. Make sure the roots of your faith are growing in Jesus Christ’s Gospel, and make sure they grow deep!
Now, I want to make sure you understand what I mean by the word, Gospel. Here’s an article that will fully explain what this word means: The Gospel- What it is and isn’t.
Jesus uses another plant illustration to describe your faith in Matthew 13:3-9. (I think Jesus liked to see a green yard as much as I do.) This passage is often referred to as the Parable of the Sower, meaning that God is sowing faith on different types of soil. The soil, of course, refers to the condition of our heart.
The idea behind this parable is, God generously sows seed. He expects the seed to take root in good soil and that it will produce an abundant harvest. However, the entire parable is about the problem with the soil that doesn’t lead to a healthy plant.
In this example, Jesus is saying that some people’s faith will be green and growing because the soil of their heart is healthy, while others’ faith will be brown and brittle because there’s something wrong with the condition of their heart.
In this parable, some seed never even makes it into the soil because the heart is too hard. There are other hearts that are shallow, and the seed doesn’t really have a chance to handle the difficulties of life because the roots are shallow. However, the part of this parable that surprises me is the seed that fell in good soil but became choked out by the weeds of life.
Jesus led a busy life even before Facebook and Fortnite. Believe it or not, people had a lot of things competing for their attention 2,000 years ago in ancient Israel, just like you have many things competing for your attention today. If you’re not careful, the unimportant stuff in life will steal your time and attention away from the most important stuff in life.
Don’t let the thorns of streaming media or the thistles on the internet choke out the roots of your faith. If you need some help in this area of your life, as I do on occasion, here’s an article I wrote a while back to help you with that: Love the Lord with All Your… Schedule!
I could go on for days about how to grow your faith, but you don’t want to read 20 more pages on this subject – so let’s just cut to the chase. Most people would love to have a green, growing faith. Some just have no idea what it takes to make it strong. This week’s 2 Cities Church service is designed to help every Christian on the planet have a green, growing faith.
Jesus wants your faith to be strong. I want the roots of your faith to be strong. If you want to have a vibrant, green, growing faith, then you’re going to need to put a couple of principles into practice, and those principles are listed in Nehemiah 8:32-37. Here’s a link to our stream about how to have a green and growing faith.
If you want to jumpstart the growth of your faith, we developed a free digital course to help fast-track your growth. If your faith has started to get stale and stagnate, here’s a web course that will help your faith grow DEEP. Your faith will grow green when the roots go DEEP. Sign up for our free digital discipleship course, called Basic Training.