What comes to mind when you think about growing? Is it the provision of God to help you grow? Is it the right ingredients or additives to make sure the conditions are right? Might be the need to prune and remove things that are dead or to help grow better?
Purposes of Pruning to help in growing:
- Removing Deadwood:
- Purpose: Pruning involves cutting away dead or diseased branches to promote overall health and growth.
- Spiritual Connection: In our lives, pruning may involve letting go of habits, attitudes, or relationships that hinder spiritual growth. It allows for new, healthy growth in our faith.
- Removing the Good to Get to Great:
- Purpose: Pruning sometimes means cutting away branches that are good but not essential, redirecting energy to promote stronger growth in vital areas.
- Spiritual Connection: This reflects the idea of prioritizing God’s will and focusing on essential aspects of our lives. It encourages us to let go of distractions and invest our energy in what truly matters.
- Shaping for Better Structure:
- Purpose: Pruning helps shape a plant by directing growth, ensuring a more balanced and structurally sound form.
- Spiritual Connection: In our spiritual journey, pruning involves God shaping and molding us to align with His purpose. It’s about becoming more like Christ, with a solid foundation in our faith.
- Stimulating Growth and Fruitfulness:
- Purpose: Pruning encourages the growth of new, fruitful branches by removing excess or non-productive growth.
- Spiritual Connection: God prunes us to bear more spiritual fruit, such as love, joy, and kindness. It’s a process of refinement for a more fruitful and purposeful life.
- Restoring Balance and Harmony:
- Purpose: Pruning restores balance by preventing overgrowth in certain areas and encouraging equilibrium in the overall structure.
- Spiritual Connection: Similarly, God prunes aspects of our lives to bring balance and harmony. It might involve correcting imbalances in our priorities or addressing areas where we’ve strayed from His will.
How Obedience helps in growing into godly dads:
Growing our obedience: Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your understanding.
Surrender control to God, trusting His plan for fatherhood.
Scripture: Ephesians 6:4
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Practice loving discipline, rooted in God’s guidance, to nurture your children.
Growing our faith: Scripture: Joshua 1:9
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened, for the Lord is with you wherever you go.
Face the challenges of fatherhood with strength and courage, relying on God’s presence.
Scripture: Colossians 3:23-24
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
Approach fatherhood as a divine calling, dedicating your efforts to God.
Growing our kids: Scripture: Psalm 127:3-5
Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
Children are a heritage from the Lord; blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Cherish and appreciate the gift of fatherhood, recognizing it as a divine blessing.
Topic: HOW YOUR GARDEN GROWS
Verse: 2 Corinthians 9:4
For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident.
Firstly, let’s be the dads who are preparing and prepared by investing in God’s Word and work. Additionally, let’s not be the dads who when Jesus returns finds us unprepared because of living in pride and self-confidence. Finally, let’s choose today to lean into God and ask for Him to help us grow, with wisdom to know what needs to stay or go to help us grow into all He has planned and purposed for us and that we can live up to and be prepared on the day of His return, hearing “well done good and faithful servant”.
Quality Seeds Required…
Today’s Devotional provides some pretty incredible examples of how things in the old days were done to last whereas today things may only be guaranteed for a few years. It started with the example of “a date palms seed that was able to be germinated and had been recovered from Herod the Great’s palace atop of Masada.” It continued with the example of “a lotus seed recovered from China”. These seeds were thousands of years old and yet due to the proper preservation, they were able to grow.
Today’s Devotional points to the importance of the “quality of the seed” in determining the quality of the harvest. It continues to explain that to get a quality harvest also requires the right “amount of seeds” to be sown as we know, we sow what we reap. The third thing Today’s Devotional calls out as a requirement is “quality soil” that includes “the amounts of moisture and nutrients provided”.
Sowing spiritual seeds to optimize growing
Ever considered how it is the same with spiritual growth? Today’s Devotional points out how “no farmer would sow haphazardly and expect a beautiful, bountiful harvest, and neither should we.” We need to be the dads who are focusing on the quality of our “seeds” we are sowing, be it “good works, financial investments, prayers, studies, service, and worship”.
Therefore, let’s be the dads who are good stewards of the seeds God has given us. Moreover, let’s be the dads who are good stewards of our wives and marriages. Let’s be the dads who are good stewards of our kids and families. Let’s be the dads who realize that God has “entrusted us with these seeds to sow and as such as we sow, so shall we reap.”
Anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.ROBERT H. SCHULLER