It'll Never Grow

Bill Brinkworth

“A sassafras tree. Oh, thank you. I have always wanted one,” I thanked my friends for the gift.

When I got home, I found the perfect spot for it, a nice sunny spot in the corner of my yard. I removed all the weeds in the area of its new home, and dug the hole for it deep and wide. After placing the young plant in the hole, I fertilized and watered it well.

Every day for weeks, I faithfully watered it. After several weeks, I noticed that the leaves were losing their greenness. Slowly, one leaf after another got yellow and fell off. This is usually an indication that the plant is not doing well; so I sprinkled on more fertilizer. The remedy did nothing to stop the plant from further decline. It was not long until the little tree was nothing more than naked twigs. I tried everything I knew to keep it alive, but still it died.

In removing the dead plant from its grave, I found the reason for its demise. When it was in its original pot, the soil appeared to be rich and thick, but I found that was just a cover, because the roots were embedded totally in white sand. Nothing would grow in that poor soil. There was no nourishment. No wonder it died.

Many people are in a similar spiritual environment. On the outside they seem to be in the right spiritual places. They act right and may even do right. Perhaps they even go to church for awhile, or help in a ministry. However, something is missing in their lives. They run on their own energy, not help or direction from above. After they run out of their own steam, they return to the condition they were originally in – or worse.

They were not rooted well, and did not get enough spiritual nourishment. It was evident they were weakening. Their prayer life declined; as did their Bible reading. They ran out of their good intentions and started missing church. Soon, no one saw them in church anymore. They stopped living the right kind of life.

Why? In many cases, it was good works they were trying to perform; sometimes it was just acting “religious.” That kind of acting does not last long. People like that are often referred to when people mention “hypocrites.” They were trying to change the outside, and never allowed God to alter the inside. People can act holy, but they can never be holy unless there is a real change in their heart.

We are all sinners. (“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23) You can put on your best clothes, brush your teeth, and comb your hair, but you are still a dirty sinner. The true dirt is on the inside. You will always lean towards being sinful, because of the sin nature you were born with. The only way to really change is to change that inside or spiritual nature. To be truly changed, one needs the new birth the Bible speaks of: “… Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3) The first time you were born, it was with a lost, sinful nature. If we realize we are sinners, we need to believe that Jesus, God’s only son, took our punishment. When he died on the cross, it was for our sins that he died. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

If we believe that His blood, that was shed on Calvary, covers ALL our sin and that Jesus rose from the grave, Jesus can be our saviour from hell. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Being saved is when we become spiritually alive. It is then we become children of God. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.: Galatians 3:26. The second birth is the only way to be a member of God’s family! It is the start of spiritual growth. Our spirit is then made new. We are a different creature. Then the changes will be permanent, because they were made on the inside by God. When the inside is changed (reborn), the outside will show signs of the change.

You will grow spiritually if your “roots” are getting the proper nourishment. In what spiritual soil are your roots planted? Being in the family of God is the only place to get spiritual food in order to grow and face the trials and testings of this world.


This article was featured in The Bible View #111.

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