What do you cultivate?

Keith Pate

The last three to four weeks we have had some beautiful spring days, of course we have had a few stormy days as well. However, for me the sunny mild tepid days overshadow the threatening weather of Easter Sunday and April 19th. After the rain storms the grass is greener, the flowers are blossoming, and the garden plants are thriving!

Mid-March I planted my spring/summer garden. It is a small raised bed (8’ x 8’) complete with 2 rows of green beans, radishes, yellow squash, zucchini, bell pepper and cabbage. When first planted the garden was growing…but slowly, until the rains came, and now it has really flourished. Of course, there have been weeds and grass that have sprung up among the planted items. These require constant weeding attention. Also, the garden requires nourishment for heightened growth and maturity – fertilizer. The gardener must constantly cultivate what he/she desires to produce, otherwise weeds will infiltrate the space and take over.

Our lives are much like a garden. We must cultivate what we desire them to resemble. We can’t simply plant the seeds and then leave them to their own devices. When droughts come, we must water. When the soil is lacking nutrients, we must fertilize. When weeds sprout, we must remove them. When insects attack, we must take action to eradicate them.

Jesus gave us the farming parables to remind us of how we must cultivate our spiritual beings as well. We can’t ignore our character, our inner being and expect to produce a life that would please our Heavenly Father. It takes work. It takes time. It takes concentrated, purposeful endurance. Otherwise the weeds of sin, the heat of discouragement and the drought of neglect will wither our spirits.

We make choices each day. Do we elect to be a positive person or negative? Will we choose gratitude or condemnation, contentment or bitterness? Shall we count our blessings or number the faults of those around us?

There are numerous passages of Scripture that would aid us in our cultivation of a Christ-like character. Below are but a few.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you

Colossians 3:17
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him

2 Corinthians 9:11-12
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things

Go in God’s peace. May we all cultivate truth, nobility, right living, purity, loveliness, and excellence.

Pastor Keith

Keith Pate About Keith Pate

Keith is originally from Castleberry, AL in Conecuh County. He joined Eastern Hills as Minister of Music in January of 2005 from Anastasia Baptist Church in St. Augustine, FL.