GROW IN FAITH AND LOVE!
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.
2 Thessalonians 1:3
I am always amazed to see the earth “spring to life” after winter has run its course. It is nature’s version of the Resurrection. Everything appears to be dead and has been dead for the entire winter. Then a few days of extra sunlight and some warmth and the explosion of life begins. Everywhere you look there are screams of “I am alive.”
Once the world is resurrected in the spring, the growing season begins. Some plants grow very quickly and some grow very slowly, but they all grow. We marvel at the ones that show daily growth, the flower that was only six inches tall yesterday is now eight inches tall and growing. But we don’t notice the growth of the ones that grow very slowly, like an oak tree. In nature, the slower a plant grows the longer it lasts.
What about your faith and love? Is your faith growing and is your love increasing?
More than forty years ago I picked up an acorn while on a trip to Beersheba Springs, Tennessee. I put the acorn in a pot and it sprouted. Then I took the little twig to Ohio and planted it in the backyard of my soon to be father-in-law and mother-in-law. Now, six children and nineteen grandchildren later there is an oak tree standing there not a quarter mile from where I am sitting. When that acorn sprouted I was amazed at the new life, but I never noticed the growth after that until I would visit the farm, usually once a year and see how big my oak tree had grown.
Faith and love are like that oak. It is amazing when they begin and it is amazing when the new growth appears in the spring. But it takes time to see the acorn of faith and love grow into an oak.
In order to grow you must be like that oak and let your roots grow deep to drink in the water that God has provided. You must stand strong when the storms of life come and try to blow you away. You must also stretch high to get your share of the sunlight God sends on your spot of earth.
One day the oak tree that I planted will come down. Its life on this earth will be done. But on the very last day of its life my oak tree will still be growing.
Your life as a follower of Jesus is like that oak. Your job today is simply this: GROW IN FAITH AND LOVE!