Day 42 – March 31, 2020 – This is a comparison of our neighbors tulip tree (on the left) to ours on the right. Our neighbors tree was already dropping petals!
In April of 2020 I posted my study on how long it would take for the Tulip (or magnolia) tree out front to bloom. That post can be found here—–> Bud to Bloom
My theory as to it’s slow blooms is that our upstairs neighbor prunes it back quite a bit in the Summer. Quite a lot!
While writing a piece called “Faithfully He Prunes” I learned that Winter pruning encourages growth, whereas Summer pruning doesn’t. (Perhaps it even stunts growth.) The reason is that the tree has a lot of energy in the Springtime as everything springs to life. Whereas, growth slows in the late Summer months.
This makes a good analogy for why some may be spiritually late bloomers: something has stunted their growth. It could be troubles that pull them away from God. Or perhaps they’ve been cut deeply by the church (pushing them further from Him.) There is also the possibility that they weren’t given’ the proper training. Everyone needs to be well informed in the way they should go. Even a vine must be encouraged to climb up a trellis.
Sometimes people will call themselves Christians because it’s their family religion. They may also think that believing in Jesus is enough. However this isn’t what Scripture teaches.
Scripture teaches that faith without works (deeds, or you could even say ‘faith without action’) is dead. This is more than slow blooms. This is a faith that isn’t alive and growing.
“You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?”James 2:19-21
Demons believe, but they don’t serve God. Faith without action is like a daffodil that comes up with leaves but no flowers. This is called daffodil blindness.
We call what our relationship with God produces ‘fruit of the Spirit’ and ‘works of the law.’ This simply means that as we give the Lord our attention and take action we will change in mind and behavior, becoming more devoted and obedient to Him. As we grow we will develop the spiritual fruit (or charater traits) that He desires to cultivate in us.
To be righteous is to be upright in God’s eyes. When we accept Jesus we become a new creation. The slate is wiped clean. Our past sins are forgiven. We also recieve the Holy Spirit who helps us, teaches us and comforts us. Everything we recieve from the Spirit of God comes from Jesus, for the Holy Spirit only repeats what He has heard. God in us reminds us when we forget things and nudges us into that closer relationship with Him. With the Lord’s help we will develop and mature if we remain in Him. Again, this means engaging and working with God.
Engage in Jesus and Grow
“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”John 15:4
“Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.”