Saturday, September 18, 2004

GROWING WITH GREAT CARE


I like to grow things. I like to look at and touch and prune the tree I planted in our yard many years ago. I like to water the plants in the flower bed and see the splash of purple and red against the lush green leaves. Some people like to think that life, like I see growing all around me, "just happened". Life tells me something different: life is the result of deliberate action and it takes tender care to make it right.

God is the maker of all things. The Bible says, "He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness" (Acts 14:17). Observing the things of nature is to observe a symphony of works by the hand of God. The creation, with all the life in it, is not the work of a thoughtless and malicious being [and it is certainly not the work of mindless chance or time]. By simple observation, we know that life is the result of the deliberate action of God who is wise, good and loving. As the Psalmist wrote, "The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands" (Ps. 19:1). The work of His hands is very good.

Live a productive life and grow what is good. Man has the duty to be productive to provide for himself and have something to share with others (Eph. 4:28). A tiller of the soil uses the latest science to improve productivity; but as he takes from the soil he also puts back. The farmer works hard to bring a good harvest. When he does, it is a testament to the hard work he did.

It's kind of like growing a family. Human life is the most precious of life because it alone is "created in the image of God." Making children should be the deliberate act of married people in love, which is a reason why sexual relations before marriage is unwise and sinful (Heb. 13:4). Every child needs and deserves the loving attention and investment of a mommy and daddy. Parents are to "grow" their children with deliberation. Sure, a garden will grow something if it is given little care, but it's not worth much at the harvest. Jesus warns us not to cause little ones to stumble, but "bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Mt. 18:6; Eph. 6:4). Precious children need and deserve tender and deliberate care: raising happy, well-adjusted, and God-respecting children doesn't "just happen." As you bring them up, talk to them about the tree and plant and all living things. Remind them that these things came about because of the deliberate work of our wise, good, and loving Creator. Posted by Hello

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