Thursday, July 18, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Jesus Where'er Thy People Meet"1 (Lyrics)

Matthew 13:23 – As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty. (ESV)

I am attempting to grow Red Lion Amaryllis plants from seed. I hope to be rewarded eventually with a vivid red flower as big as my hand, which blooms after four years during Christmastide. I thought that it would be a challenge to undertake, and, frankly, cheaper than a dog to look after, in my postage-stamp-sized garden!

Having successfully harvested the black seeds from my mature plot plant, I decided to propagate them. This is done by floating dry seeds on clean water for about three weeks, to germinate. For more than two weeks, no change can be seen.

Much to my surprise and delight, after about three weeks of floating passively on my windowsill, a little white growth could be seen poking through a softened seedcase, pointing downwards towards the windowsill. Then, gradually, more and more seeds showed signs of life on the water.

Later on, I potted the seeds into some small pots and continued to water them. At present, they sit out in the summer sun, in a plastic-covered, damp bucket with green shoots about three inches long! It is a long process. Flushed with my enthusiasm for seeing new life grow, I explained this process to Caroline, who was duly polite in her attention.

In the telling, from my school days, I remembered "geotropism", the technical term for roots being drawn downwards, attracted by the influence of gravity.

The gospels show us that Jesus is keen on kingdom growth and new life, and, in a moment of whimsy, I coined my own word for it:

Deotropism – a turning away from the old self by Christians who continually set their priorities towards heaven by the influence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit developing new growth inside.

Thus, deotropism is a process by which Jesus brings us to life and enables us to live our lives differently, to blossom in the world where we have been planted.

For all Christians, eventually, there will be signs of God bringing to life that which has been latent inside. I believe that He always delights in kingdom growth and wants to see, in each one of us, new life reaching out, growing, and bearing a harvest.

Prayer: Lord, some of us have been dormant for a while, awaiting the opportunity to be softened by resting in Your presence. We rejoice that You did not shrink back from stepping out for the kingdom when You were incarnate. Please grant us the insight and understanding of Your Word by the power of the Holy Spirit, so that we, too, may be able to grow in it and bring forth fruit to the glory of Your name, Jesus. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Good analogy and devotion Rod.

    Love this idea and so true. Thank you Rod.

    Might our roots be drawn downward so that we can grow properly.

    A big amen brother!

    Very glad to hear from you again. Please keep us informed about the seedlings.
    Best wishes.

    Hi Rod, it’s good to have you share with us today! I enjoyed what you shared very much. May God continue to bless you and I Pray we hear from you again soon.

    Hi Rod
    What a wonderful way of describing transformation of our new beginnings in Christ. Thanks for the reflections. Blessings.

    Thanks so much for the devotional on the Presbyterian Daily Devotional this a.m…at least a.m. here in Canada! What a great illustration of God’s love and patience!
    All the very best to you.

    Dear brother in Christ Jesus,
    A very interesting devotional. Yes, we must need to bloom where we are planted both in the world, and in the vine of Jesus.

    This is an amazing Devotional Rod. As an Outdoor Education Teacher for many years, the new word you coined really grabs me. It is an excellent parallel to your science project with the seeds.
    I like to coin new words too, so was really taken up with your inventive idea.
    Bless you in your creative writing to honour the Lord.

    Dear Rod,
    I like the way you came up with a clever word to point us heavenward! My husband is also a gardener so I understand the time and patience involved with harvesting plants. Thank you for sharing this experience; it reminded me of Jesus’ parables and the spiritual lessons that can be drawn from nature.

    Hey thank for the analogy Rod,
    A little bit of revision of Botany terms turned out to be very good for me. I blush to say I would have completely forgotten had you not reminded me with such a good analogy. God give us all the grace to do our part in the growth of the glorious kingdom of our God and Saviour.

    Another lovely devotional Rod. Thanks for sharing. Trust you will continue be successful with your Amaryllis experiments! Blessings to you and yours.

    Hi Rod;
    At Bible Study, we considered Genesis 17:1 (AMP) When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, I am Almighty God, walk and live habitually before Me and be perfect (blameless, wholehearted, complete).
    I believe God calls each and every one of us to turn and walk/ live habitually with Him. “Hanging out” with The LORD does cause deotropism, which is a “good” thing.
    Thanks for writing to us through Presby Can Daily!

    Dear Rod Marshall,
    Thank you for your devotional. Your gardening illustration spoke to me. God graciously gives growth as we work with his conditions, and even amazingly prior to our co-operation, inspiring it.
    I too am a gardener of a summer plot outside in southern Manitoba, Canada. With the vegetables, I love to see other things grow, even frilly big red poppies that seed themselves year after year!
    And I was amazed to see roots grow on the only wee 2-inch bit that survived a florist’s plant. Now 10 inches tall, this rose begonia has an amazing crown of bright pink blooms. It is a reminder of loved ones living on in God’s eternity.
    Keep writing.

    Dear Rod:
    I feel I know you as a friend, as a consequence of reading with interest many of your devotionals.
    This one is very appropriate. Going through my mind today from breakfast until now, has been a project concerning stewardship, a need to realize we are given such things to develop or maintain what God has given us, not leave it idle. It may seem strange but you hit the nail on the head for me today, so that I am going to go ahead with something that has been with me for some time. Thank you and I also give thanks to God for the nudge today.
    (British Columbia)

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