Weeding Your Garden

James 1:12-17

As we spoke last week about fishing being in the air this time of year, there is another thing that comes to mind which we start seeing more and more this time of year. 

Gardens. Some big. Some small. Vegetable, flowers, plants, all types. Jesus often used farming, gardening as illustrations because, unlike today, most people understood it.

Gardening is fun, even therapeutic. It provides pleasure and produces beauty and food. But gardeners have to be on guard. There are menaces to a garden.

If the soil is too wet or dry you can damage the plant and hinder the crop. You have diseases, pests of all types. Wildlife, weather. A gardener has to watch all these things.

There is a more subtle menace, one that at first glance doesn’t look harmful but in reality it robs the plant from nutrients and water. It can retard the growth of the plant and decrease fruit. WEEDS!

As we have seen over the last couple of weeks, Samson’s sad descent from God’s gift, to God’s laughing stock, we have to be aware the same trap can be used against us.

Like the gardener being on guard to protect their garden. We need to be conscious of the fact that there are many things out to deceive us and destroy our relationship with God.

Like Samson we can become proud of where and how God used us and even began to think it is us. That is why I must point out again what Paul said to the Corinthians. 1Co 10:12, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

So what can we do? What is there for us to use to ground ourselves? To protect ourselves?

The day in which we find ourselves is a very trying time. It is easy for us to look down on others. It is easy for us to worry. Begin to doubt.

Remember. Our minds are like hotels. You cannot prevent someone from coming into the lobby, but you can prevent them from getting a room.

Look at our scripture: James 1:12-17 

  • Temptation
    • The root of temptation is a selfish desire.
      • When our desire is conceived it grows and matures until it sprouts.
    • The shoot appears. 
      • In the form of a sinful action or decision.
    • If left untouched it produces fruit.
      •  A seed pod that will reproduce the cycle again and again.
  • Our Nature
    • We have a sinful nature. That is why apart from the Holy Spirit of God we cannot understand God’s word. We cannot act on God’s word.
      • 1Co 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
    • Fact is we could shut down every “den of iniquity” 
      • From the casinos to the media outlets. From the bars to the porn shops. It still wouldn’t stop or eliminate temptation to sin.
    • Adam and Eve had a perfect world.
      •  They had the perfect environment yet they succumbed to temptation. Why?
    • Because temptation comes from an internal source.
      • The external forces are only enticements to sin.
      • The problem begins with the human heart, mind.
    • In order to overcome this propensity to sin we have to have a new nature.
      • Jesus gives us that when we submit to His will instead of ours.
    • People indulge in various sins because they think it will make them happy.
      • We sin because of the pleasure it will bring. Though it is fleeting, passing, it only lasts a moment, we cannot see past our desire to the permanent scarring and pain it inevitably causes us and others. 
  • What do we do? How do you get weeds out of your garden?
    • Some think dealing with the fruit section of the weed will take care of it.
      • For a time it seems to work but then…
      • Just like when we deal with our secret sins by addressing only the visible parts of it, it is not likely that much headway will be made.
      • Why so many fall into depression and back into the same ole grind.
    • Others like to mow the weeds down. Cutting down the shoot.
      • Once again it looks good for a while but then often it seems to spread and make matters worse.
      • Again we deal with the externals
    • The only way to eradicate weeds from your garden is to deal with root, shoot fruit and all.
      • Rather you use a herbicide, a non- chemical home remedy or pull them up, it is the only way to rid your garden of these life threatening, substance sucking, light stealing pests. 
      • To eradicate perpetual, habitual sin in our lives, we must, underscore must, deal with our innate selfish desires.
      • Call it what it is. it is not a mistake/ it is sin against a holy God.
    • That is the question. Just like succeeding. Do you want to live a life successful in the eyes of God?
      • Do you really want to rid your life of these joy stealing, life draining, light sucking parasites or do you enjoy them more than you enjoy the promises of God?
  • Here are three questions to determine if what you are thinking of doing is worth it.
    • Can I thank God for it?
      • Jas 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
      • 1Th 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
      • If you go ahead and do this can you look back and thank God for it?
    • Can I do this in the Name of Jesus?
      • Will this be like Samson? Give the lost world reason to mock God?
      • Col 3:17, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”
    • Can I do this and give Glory to God?
      • 1Co 10:31, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”
    • I realize you have many formulas per say to help you. Truth is if you don’t invoke them, put them to use, you have what you want.
  • Make America Great Again.
    •  We have all heard the slogan. Fact of the matter many of us have shared what we believe will make America great in our minds.
      • The hope of America is not found in a revival of family values. It is not restoration of constitution law.
      •  Not a renewed respect for parents, elders or even authority though all of this is good.
      • Believe it or not it wont come from even upgrading the education system, health care system or court system.
    • What will make America great again is when Born again believers take a stand against sin.
      •  Not in the outside world but in our own lives!!
    • We need to get busy weeding out our own minds.
  • Church , this book is for you!!!
    • Today you have been given a choice.
      • To ignore these words. Chalk it up to another sermon down or REPENT.

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