“…Our inner self is being renewed day by day.” (2 Corinthians 4:16)
Before we move on from this topic of our personal renewal – I wanted to give you one more picture that could be helpful in understanding the nature of God’s cure, placed within us, through the completed work of Jesus.
As a gardener, I am always amazed at the “natural magic” of how plants grow.
Take a tomato seed, for example. Contained within that tiny seed is the ability to grow a plant that reaches a height of eight feet, and is capable of producing hundreds of fruits (yes… tomatoes are fruits!). Everything is contained within the DNA of that tiny seed. All it needs, to release its potential, is some soil, some water, and some sunlight.
This is key… tomato seeds will not become tomato plants until the gardener takes them out of their seed packet and places them into some soil. Tomato seeds that remain in their packets never become tomato plants – but those placed in the soil emerge, and begin to grow as tomato plants, capable of giving us (lots of) tomatoes.
Think about it… The full-grown tomato is IN the seed. Once it emerges, it just needs to grow to maturity. BUT it is a tomato plant from the moment it emerges from its seed casing! A tomato’s life is in the seed. That life begins. That life grows. That life produces fruit. That is the very nature of a tomato seed.
It is no mistake that the Bible also talks about this new life in Christ as a seed. Once it is planted, within the soil of a human heart, it cannot help but grow. The Word of God is a seed that springs forth as new life – and a new kind of life.
In this case, as is the case of all seed-bearing plants, the seed is of the same “stuff” as the parent plant. In the case of God’s seed, placed within us as the “living and abiding word of God,” (1 Peter 1:23) it will emerge bearing the characteristics of Our Parent (Our Father). The “imperishable” seed of God emerges as the Life of God – naturally enabled to grow to maturity… and produce divine fruit.
This is the picture we need when it comes to thinking about our relationship with God. He has planted the seed of His divine nature and character within the soil of our hearts, and it will grow and produce fruit – unless… something happens to prevent it from doing so.
In the parable of the seed and the Sower (Matthew 13:18-23), Jesus informs us of the things that prevent the seed from doing what the seed is designed to do. Lack of understanding; a lack of personal depth of character; trials or persecution; the anxieties, cares, and concerns of this world; and the deceitfulness of riches – all things which prevent the seed from fulfilling its natural inner potential.
The whole point of all this is… God is not making something of divine character out of us (changing us gradually) – He has planted the seed of His divine character within us… now it just needs to be nourished and nurtured to grow.
The moment we turn our hearts to receive Jesus, the seed of His life is within us. We ARE new creations because the seed of His Life is in the soil of our hearts.
Prayer focus: God, center my heart on You… and on fulfilling Your purposes in my life — that the seed of Your Life within me may fully mature and bear fruit for You.