The Sieve

July 31, 2019
by Lynne Phipps

Luke 12:15b – Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in an abundance of his possessions. (NIV)

Matthew 7:15 – Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. (NIV)

Proverbs 21:23 – Watch your words and hold your tongue; you'll save yourself a lot of grief. (MSG)

Philippians 2:3-4 – Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (NIV)

Living where I do in the north of British Columbia, Canada, makes gardening difficult. Our growing season is not only shorter, but also our soil often lacks the necessary nutrients for healthy plants. In addition, we live two hours away from a main centre where we can purchase good soil. Thus, we get it where we can and do the work necessary to make it suitable for the planting and growing tasks ahead.

This past year, we had a load of soil delivered by a local provider. The only problem was that it was very rocky, which has meant a lot of time and effort in regard to sifting the five-yard load by hand. We found an old fire pit cover which works well as a screen, but it can hold only two shovelfuls of dirt at a time. The work of shifting the screen, being very taxing on the back, slows the job down significantly. Nonetheless, we are, bit by bit, getting it accomplished, and the sifted soil is well worth the effort.

Similarly, in order for the Holy Spirit to produce healthy, mature spiritual growth within us, we need to be on the lookout for worldly rocks which need sifting from the gardens of our lives.

Today's Scriptures point out a few of these rocky issues that we must guard against. Greed, false teachings, inappropriate speech, selfishness, and arrogance abound in our world. If we are not watching and sifting carefully, by means of knowing and applying the words of Scripture to our hearts and minds, they can easily infiltrate our thoughts and actions.

So let us be diligent in regard to cultivating the Word of God within us, that it may act as a sieve, screening out the rocky, unwanted detriments to the good soil of our lives, which God intends for the planting of His righteousness.

Prayer: Father God, how wonderful it is that we live in a world where we can read and know and apply the words of Scripture to the gardens of our lives. Empower us to be diligent in this matter, never being lulled into false thinking that we know it all and have no need for the sifting power of Your Word within our hearts and minds daily. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephipps@hotmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thank you.


    Thanks, Lynne. Blessings.


    Well said, Lynne! Blessings!


    Thanks, Lynne. This is a perfect follow up to yesterday’s [devotional].


    This writing is very good. I would like to share this. I will give you credit of course.


    Beautiful analogy Lynne. Your stories fill me with joy and a great initiative to know God’s Word better.


    What am inspiring devotion! I am a gardener in SK.
    It is so wonderful to see things grow!
    May each of us also grow spiritually.


    Thank you, Lynne, for another inspirational devotional! I can tell that the devotional was written by you, several sentences in, long before I check as to who submitted it. Many thanks.


    Hi Lynne,
    It was interesting the way you illustrated God’s Word as a sieve ready, willing, and able to rid our heart, mind, speech, and life, of all that is undesirable. Thank you.


    Hi Lynn,
    We must be on guard indeed. I am constantly amazed at all the things you do, by hand.
    And I always enjoy your devotionals.
    Blessings.


    HI Lynne,
    This was a lovely devotional. I love the analogy of sieving dirt and sieving our minds of the things of this world which don’t serve us.
    Thank you for sharing this message!
    Blessings.


    Vivid and compelling, Lynn. Who would’ve thought an old firepit cover could be so inspirational? Blessings on your back. Someone reminded me that we only get one mother and one back and we need to be taught that, early.
    Blessings to you in Northern B.C.


    Dear Lynne,
    Thanks for another excellent devotional. A great comparison of the gardening procedures and the how we must plant and grow the spirit of God in our daily lives.
    Blessings.
    (B.C.)


    I would hate to think how much of a loss it would be, not to have this daily devotional each morning with my first cup of coffee. And your contributions over these past number (for me 10?) of years is so much a part of it. It’s important for you to know that. You are very much a ‘true and faithful servant”. Your writing style is on a level with Mark Twain. Down to earth, simply stated yet profound. God loves you, and so do I. Keep up the good work.


    I am finishing up my newspaper tonight, to press early tomorrow.
    Your words encourage me to some “sifting” to make sure all is exactly as it should be.


    Thanks Lynne. I’m glad you had some rocks to help you provide us with such a good analogy. (Hope your back recovered though!) Those were wonderful scripture verses to remind us of the rocks that can hinder us from growing spiritually. May the Holy Spirit keep inspiring you.

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