Rose Bushes

One thing that many people know about me is that I love to garden. In every house that Ed and I have lived in countless hours have been spent gardening. I am keenly aware that once you plant a small plant, flower or shrub you cannot assume it will grow into a healthy vibrant plant. Often, we may nurture the young plants but forget about continuing to nurture the adult plants.

Case in point is our rose bushes. One of my favorite sights and smells are the rose bushes that line the fence in our backyard. Every spring and summer they are covered with blooms. I have always been careful to take care of them, feed them and prune them. Last year, I was so busy that I neglected the rose garden. I thought about it, but convinced myself that they were mature. They would be fine. I even pruned them much later in the year than I should have. The result has been catastrophic.  Many of my once blooming, vibrant roses are now not blooming at all during this season. Others have even died and will have to be replaced.

When it comes to spiritual maturity, we can’t simply take for granted that we’re going to grow without nurturing our spiritual life. But, how?

We know we’re growing spiritually when we become increasingly aware of our sinfulness and weakness. As I read biographies of godly saints, it’s clear that they don’t “get better” with age and spiritual maturity. Instead, they become ever more sensitive to their dependence upon the Lord. Moreover, progress is apparent when we respond to sin with quick repentance. Failure to deal with sin is rebellion against God. Growing believers turn away from wrongdoing and embrace righteousness. As we live with the good results of dependence and repentance, our desire to obey intensifies, and the attraction of sin lessens.


Growth is also marked by an increase in faith which is often developed through hardship as we learn to trust God instead of ourselves. Throughout Scripture we see that it was adversity that created spiritual giants. Just think about Paul, David, Daniel and Job. The more time, and attention we give to our relationship with God the more it will continue to grow. Find a time to read His word, turn on worship music in the car instead of something else, and talk to him every day. Take care of your spiritual rose bushes, and they will bloom bright and give off a beautiful aroma to others.

Pastor Keith