A few weeks ago, I spent a good deal of time writing a botanical-themed statement of faith. Jesus’ plant-based parables sure did help! 🙂 Sometimes nature says it all!

God & His Garden

369989.image0Just as both the invisible, buried root and the visible main cane or main branch of a rose bush are united as one plant through the bud union, there is one God consisting of the invisible Father and the visible Son, Jesus Christ, whom are united in one Spirit. All the fullness of God is manifested in His offspring, Jesus Christ just as we consider the visible canes or branches of a rose bush it’s fullness thereof. (Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-4,18; 10:30; Ephesians 4:3-6; Colossians 1:15-18; 2:1-10; Revelation 22:16)

In the beginning, God established a beautiful garden in just 6 days (on the 7th day God rested and enjoyed His garden). God wanted His plants to forever thrive and flourish while setting up boundaries to protect His beautiful roses (Genesis 1-2).


Sin was sown into God’s landscape of life, which left untreated quickly spread


throughout (Genesis 3+). Similar to how black spot or other botanical diseases taint our roses, infectious sin plagues all human life and leads to physical and spiritual death revealing our desperate need for a remedy (Romans 3:9-26; 6:23).

The Savior, The Remedy

Just as neem oil is produced by the pressing of the fruit of a neem tree and used to treat common diseases and pests found inhibiting our rose bushes, Jesus Christ, the sinless Son of God, was pressed on the cross, also made from a tree, so that His blood, like neem oil, could cover and cure our disease of sin if we apply it to our lives (Matthew 26-28; John 1:14,29; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Corinthians 5:14-21; Galatians 3:13; Philippians 2:5-11). Additionally, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ are manifested throughout botanical creation as the death of a flower leads to fruit full of life-giving seeds.

Water Baptism

watering-rosesJust as life cannot exist without water, it is important those who claim to believe with their whole heart (Acts 8:36-38) believe by obeying Jesus’ command and example to be baptized in His authoritative Name, calling unto Him, for in baptism we are united in Christ (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 2:37-39; 22:16; Romans 6:3-5; 10:13; Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:11-12; Philippians 2:9-11; 2 Timothy 2:11; 1 Peter 3:18-22). Jesus taught that those who want to be planted in His abundant garden of everlasting life (enter the kingdom of God) need to be baptized by water and the Spirit (John 3:3-6; Mark 16:16). As we submerse ourselves in Him and therefore identify ourselves as His, living waters will wash over us (water baptism), washing away our sins (Acts 22:16), which were covered in His blood, and at some point, living waters flow through us (baptism of Holy Spirit), sustaining an adopted supernatural, flourishing life (John 4:1-26; 7:37-39; Revelation 22:1-2). Water not only washes away dirt (sin) in our garden, but is needed within our plants to thrive (Spirit). Choosing to receive Him, His example, and His command through baptism by immersion in His Name is the first public step towards a long evolving and rewarding process of trusting and obeying Him (John 1:12-13; Acts 5:32; Galatians 3:14).

Baptism of Holy Spirit

Similar to a gardener using his or her hands to plant small seeds of life in a receptive fertile soil, the Holy Spirit is a like a small incorruptible seed implanted into a receiving fertile soul typically, but not limited to, through the laying of hands as God wills (John 1:13; Acts 8:12-19; Acts 9:17; Acts 14:3; Acts 19:1-6,11; Romans 8:9,14; 1 Timothy 4:14; 5:22; 2 Timothy 1:6; 1 Peter 1:23). rosehip-seedsThe Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost, also referred to throughout Scripture as the eternal Spirit, the Spirit of Christ, and the gift of grace or Spirit of grace, is a promise (Acts 1:4; Acts 2:38-39) given by God in His timing to those who obey Him (Acts 5:32) – the hands of men and women are just a means by which God uses if He so chooses. Although the Spirit typically is transmitted through hands of Godly, Spirit filled people, there are also instances where the Spirit fell on others without the laying of hands (Acts 2:1-6; 10:44-48). Furthermore, the Book of Acts reveals that receiving the empowering Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8) is so intensely powerful it manifests physically in some form upon initial implantation (i.e. speaking in tongues, healing, etc. – Acts 2:1-4; 8:12-19; 9:17-18; 10:44-48; 19:2-6). Throughout various realms or circumstances of life, the physical often manifests what’s going on in the spiritual.


Rose Seedling 1After that incorruptible seed is implanted, rooted in Christ, and tended to, the Spirit within will continue to grow and blossom eventually producing fragrance and fruit (Matthew 13; 2 Corinthians 2:14-17; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 3:17; 1 Peter 1:22-23; 2 Peter 1:2-8). Throughout the life cycle of the seed, it matures into an established and flourishing rose bush, albeit the seed cooperates with its own development by responding in obedient faith to whatever nutrition and refreshment supplied (Psalm 42:7; Matthew 13:1-23; 31-32; 25:29-30; Luke 8:18; Acts 5:32; Ephesians 3:16-21; 2 Peter 3:14-18). Consequently, should the once tiny seedling embryo continue to thrive as it grows up in God, it will go onto produce fragrant flowers, emitting the fragrance of Christ, but then as part of the beautiful cycle, the flower dies to its self Rosehip-Natural-oils-for-body-pg-fulland one’s self-centered desires as it serves others in love, allowing the dead flower to produce many more seeds or disciples in Christ (Mark 16:15-18; John 15:8,16).

Trials & Tribulation Followed by Resurrection

Moreover, when a new rose is birthed, it goes through a lengthy trial to test how the rose will respond to various conditions and seasons before it can go onto market to be sold and enjoyed. The breeder looks for healthy canes and foliage, signs of disease, prolific flowering, fragrance, and so forth. Numerous roses grow side by side for many years in a test garden before the breeder decides to promote the overcoming, seasoned, ever-blooming rose.  Whereas, other diseased or non-flourishing roses will be discarded and eventually composted.

Best Rose garden lr2

Likewise, we will be tested and tried, dwelling side by side with unbelievers and the disobedient, rebellious roses through various trials and seasons (Matthew 13:24-43; Matthew 24; Romans 5:3-5; 1 Peter 1:3-7; 4:16-19; Revelation 7:13-14; 9:4; 12:17; 13:4-10; 14:12-13; 18:4, 20-19:2; 21), but in the end, upon our Breeder and Master Gardener’s inspection we will also be promoted through either the resurrection or the gathering depending on if our current state upon His inspection is in dormancy, also know as asleep or dead in Christ, compared to a rose still flourishing despite the difficult and exhausting season of heat encountered (I Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11; Revelation 10:7; 11:15-19; Ezekiel 26). At that moment, His chosen roses will be transplanted to be with Him and to glorify Him through an immortal fragrance of Christ in our designated roles for a millennium (Revelation 20:1-6; Zechariah 14). After the 1,000 years, the remaining dead will be resurrected and will be judged according to their works and obedient faith (Revelation 20:7-15).

The Eternal Garden

Although many diseased or weak roses were composted in the Lake of Fire, all the immortal roses will dwell in God’s eternal garden forever emulating an aroma of Christ (Revelation 21-22).



Putting Down Roots

While eating lunch in a small diner today, I couldn’t help but over hear our gregarioustree roots waitress invite another patron to try the peach pie, which eventually led her to share how frustrated she was that her own peach and apple trees perished over the winter upon encountering the first hard freeze. As I continued to inhale my much deserved lunch, trying to mind my business, my ears inevitably perked up. Meanwhile, my mind listed the probable reasons her fruit trees failed her. One such reason being, fruit trees, like roses, need their root systems well established prior to when the first freeze strikes or they will likely die. It is probable the waitress planted her trees too late in the season while not also preparing them for the whims of winter. Upon the end of her gardening chatter, she confessed to giving up on fostering fruit trees and planted Crape Myrtle shrubs instead. Oh, and by the way, the customer never did get the peach pie. Ha!

tree-with-foliage-with-the-shape-of-a-heart-and-roots-as-text-love-on-white-background_gg67012197Much later in the evening, I contemplated the spiritual importance of being rooted. It doesn’t really matter what city or what church we lay our roots in, because if we have God’s Holy Spirit, we can go anywhere and thrive. What matters is being rooted in His love. Too often, we are rooted in false identities, wanting the approval and acceptance of other’s love. Then, when others assault us with their first hard freeze or whipping words of winter, we shrivel up and die. We fail to know our own worth because unknowingly our roots sought strength and nourishment in another’s acceptance instead of God’s. Conversely, when we know our true identities rooted in Christ’s love and approval, we will be firmly planted able to flow with a heart of thankfulness while operating in true love despite the changing seasons and hardened hearts we may encounter  (see Romans 10:10; Ephesians 3:16-19; Colossians 2:6-7).

“By believing you receive God’s approval, and by declaring your faith you are saved.” Romans 10:10 (God’s Word Translation)

Trust The Process

sweetpea fence

Sweet Peas grow up to around 6 feet tall with a variety of colors! {photo credit: unknown}

If you ever want to experience joy while refining your level of patience, then nurturing tiny seeds into seedlings and eventual full grown veggies or other blooms is a process to trust. For the past several weeks, I’ve watched Sweet Peas evolve from tiny round seeds to long slender stems with several small leaves. Around the time they were ready to be transitioned to the great outdoors, our area experienced an ongoing winter-like cold snap that lasted for a couple of weeks preventing me from transplanting them where they could reach their full potential. Meanwhile, my Sweet Peas were getting so tall they were flopping over and their roots were attempting to break forth from the seedling cell pack I originally started them in.

20160323_135938.jpgAs I impatiently waited on the Lord to intervene in our wacky weather, He softly spoke to me about how the conditions weren’t right for the seedlings to flourish or put another way, the seedlings weren’t ready for the demands of the external conditions. Much like we, as baby believers, may grow suddenly and are eager to get out there to lead, teach, or preach, but often we simply aren’t ready for the conditions we will have to endure. Just as there is a “hardening off” process where I have to slowly introduce the seedlings to the ideal external conditions by placing them outdoors for a few minutes a day for several days until they are  ready to be permanently exposed to the outdoor environment, believers need to be raised up and gently prepared prior to blessing their surrounding environment with fragrant blooms or refreshing fruit. Otherwise, the chilly nights, scorching sun, or unexpected storms will quickly snuff out our enthusiastic seedling forever ruining the patient process of producing anything substantial or eternal.


Sweet Peas bouquets {photo credit: Floret Flowers}

With everything, there is a process – a process we must learn to trust. If you are willing to display the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit, if you are willing to dispense the sweet fragrance of Christ, if you are willing to be overcoming and ever-blooming for Him, then you have to first be willing to go through the process of growing up in God until the conditions in your heart and surrounding circumstances are ready and able to bear fruit. Be encouraged and diligent though as your roots deepen and stems thicken for a time will come when He will transplant you providing you with ample opportunity to manifest His glorious blooms securely planted in Him!

For step by step directions on how to grow Sweet Peas from seed, check out this helpful article by Floret Flowers.