Sunday, September 28, 2003

Matthew 13:40-43 – Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear. (ESV)

From my office window, I can see that we have had a new electricity substation put in to accommodate the increase in demand for electricity. It is shielded from view by a lovely Cotswold stone wall, six feet high.

Weeds have grown up to a height of over eight feet, draping over the wall in plain view. Whilst they are pretty with their white and purple conically-shaped multiple flower heads, they are not meant to be there.

It made me think about what goes on behind the facade of my life. Sometimes, I am fine for all to see, but there are times when the weeds are secretly taking root and growing. Finally, after a while of giving them permission to stay, they become visible by my action or inaction, by what I have said, or just by a look on my face.

It is great to know that Father God is with me, sinner that I am. He upholds me through the times of trial, change, and transition that are afoot here in the university and in Cheltenham. His power is not fazed by the weeds.

As much faith as I have — and that is variable sometimes — like the walled off area, I know that only a part of me is taken up with the transforming power of God. Other areas are open to what the world blows in: weeds of envy, selfishness, fear, and doubt.

Sometimes I fail, and sometimes I win! It is good to know the joy of the Holy Spirit destroying the weeds, pretty as they might seem, as they are uprooted and burnt in His power. He came to reconcile people like us with His grace, to hoe the ground, to wrest ownership from the weeds, and to bless us, even when we fall.

Prayer: Lord, we know that we are sinners, and, apart from You, there is no hope in us. We repent of our sins, and ask You to enlarge Your territory in us, to remove the weeds that have grown up in our lives. Clean us up, and send us out today, with the vital, transforming power of Your Spirit, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

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About the author:

Rod Marshall <roderickhenrymarshall@gmail.com>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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