In this weeks blog I want to continue with the journey we have started in terms of looking at 'seeds'. We are going on the idea of nurturing and growing a seed.
Growth is something that is so important in modern culture, financial growth, personal growth, physical growth, the list could go on. The idea of something growing in some way is often the under pinning motivation for a lot of what we do. But, in order for us to grow, we have to meet certain criteria - just like a seed does. Take a step back to the fist blog in this series, it's essential the seed is planted in the correct soil, you have to be in the right place to grow. We have to acknowledge this to put context to the next few points we are going to look at.
Firstly, in order for a seed to grow it must have water. Water is a key ingredient for growth for the majority of life on our planet. Without it we wouldn't survive.
John 7:37-38 (NIV)
37 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
In this verse Jesus tells the people that anyone who is thirst should come to him and drink. At first glance it doesn't make any sense, unless Jesus has an endless supply of water with him at all times. What he is really referring to is a spiritual thirst. In order for us to grow spiritually and have 'rivers of living water' flowing from us, we must first go to Jesus and drink. In order for us to grow spiritually we need to drink from the source. As the first part of verse 38 says, we have to believe, we have to have faith first to recognise that we need to drink. Then, rivers of living water will flow from within us.
Once the seed has been watered it will begin to sprout and the next thing it will need is sunlight. Another one of the essential parts of our planets ecosystem is the sun, our world revolves around it, it provides warmth and light.
John 8:12 (NIV)
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
If we look at this verse in comparison to the idea of the sun, something that could also be called 'the light of the world' in a different context, we can draw some parallels between it and Jesus. The first thing is that the sun is the light in the darkness, Jesus is referred to as the light in the darkness in John 1:3-5, just as we know that each morning the sun will rise we have the same assurance that Jesus provides an eternal hope, a 'light in the darkness' that will not be overcome. But, in order to stay in the light we have to follow the direction it goes in. Many plants will grow in the direction of the sun, take a sun flower for example, it will turn to face the sun to soak up as much of it as it can. We should do the same thing with Jesus, and in doing so we will find spiritual growth.
Finally, the seed will set its roots into the ground. This is a topic that we have looked at before and Jesus teaches a lot about foundations in the Bible. In order to withstand storms, winds and floods a plant must set it's roots deep enough into the ground to keep itself stable. Roots also soak up nutrients from the ground in order to help the plant grow.
Colossians 2:6-7 (NIV)
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
This verse in Colossians puts it very plainly for us, we must be rooted and built up in him. The idea of being built up 'in' Jesus doesn't mean that he is only the foundation that props us up, but we should be immersed in him. If we look at the three points that we have covered: water, sunlight, and setting roots - they all point to Jesus, they all come from Jesus and they are all unchanging in Jesus. The water, light and foundation that Jesus gives to us freely doesn't change, we are free to soak in as much as we like.
Everything we need to grow is found in Jesus. Let's take time this week to focus on returning back to the source for our water, our light and our foundation.
I pray that this week we can look to Jesus as our source for spiritual growth and that we might have rivers of living water flowing from within us.