"God didn't send me out to collect a following for myself, but to preach the Message of what He has done, collecting a following for Him" (1 Corinthians 1:17)

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

September 2: Landscaped


NOTE TO SELF: Today’s reminder is from James in The Message translation. I love the imagery of being “landscaped.”

Have you ever seen pictures of those beautiful and meticulous landscaped grounds, where it seems like fairy tales would take place? Those grounds are well-tended by loving hands, by people who have a talent and a passion for art and beauty. Those types of settings are where people can find tranquility and peace, a place to reflect and be quiet.

God’s Word can do the same thing in our lives. It can mold us with loving hands, prepare us to be a place of comfort for others, and a refuge for those in need. God doesn’t just prune us, He sculpts us into masterpieces. He has a knack and an eye for our beauty. He sees in us what we can be and His Word helps us to grow into strong, healthy and flourishing lives.

Much like those sculpted flower beds or shrubs, when we stay out of God’s Word for too long, neglecting God’s caring hands, we became scraggly and wild, no longer beautifully tended to. The sanctuary of our lives often then becomes a place where no one cares to be anymore, because it has been overrun by weeds and is no longer appealing.

God’s Word is how we become beautiful from the inside out.

PRAYER: Father, take our lives and cut back the wild branches. Tend to us with caring hands and landscape our lives into beautiful sanctuaries of love and peace. Amen.

JOURNAL: Has your landscaped life grown wild and scraggly? Write about the branches that have taken on a life of their own, and write scriptures that will help you prune them back.

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