Spiritual Growth, an Organic Idea

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Spiritual growth, in Scripture, is sometimes explained in organic terms. Within the next couple of weeks, I will need to go out and prune the apple tree in our back yard. An apple tree can be a great image to understanding the biblical image of spiritual growth as bearing fruit. Mature plants bear fruit. Jesus sets up this image in John 15 in terms of the vine and branches. When His followers remain in His love, they are able to “bear much fruit” (John 15:5). Paul also draws upon this image in Colossians 1:10, linking bearing fruit with doing good work and gaining godly knowledge: “you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” In 2 Corinthians9:10, Paul uses the language of an increase in “the harvest of your righteousness.”

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Putting on the New

1.27.16puttingonthenew
 
My wife and I have four kids.  Our youngest two, Ezra and Silas, are 4 and 2 respectively.  If you ever see them you may notice that they both parade around in clothes that don’t quite fit.  We have a surplus of clothing perfect for a standard 3 year old, so when it comes to dressing them, they receive a mix of age appropriate items and those made for a kid in between them. My wife tries to avoid such situations, but I am much more lax about the whole thing.  It is typical to see them in a shirt that looks fine but pants that are constantly sliding down.  Ezra looks especially weird in his fashionable cowboy boots and high water pants.  A lot of times they just wear nothing.

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