The Upper Room devotional reflection for Sunday, November 22, 2020 comes to us from Merry Gultom of West Java, Indonesia
Colossians 3:1-11 1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. 7 You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. 8 But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. 9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. 11 Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV) If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
One morning I looked at my flowerpots, and I was sad to see that they were overgrown with grass and weeds because I had neglected them. I decided to tend to them, hoping to make them look more beautiful and well maintained. The growth of my plants had been stunted by the grass and weeds, so I pulled out all the weeds and added fertilizer to allow the plants to produce new, healthy growth.
When I finished fixing my flowerpots, I thought, So it is with my spiritually. My life would be more beautiful if I were to get rid of the grass and weeds in me. Worry, disappointment, and heartache can consume me. These “grasses” and “weeds” make it difficult for me to grow into a new creation in God. It is not always easy, but I want to continue to grow in faith so that I can glorify God through my life. I hope that as God’s children we can all welcome new growth in our faith and our lives.
Prayer Focus: To Grow in my Faith
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for encouraging us to grow. Help us as we strive to do our best for you. In the name of Jesus who taught us to pray, “Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation (Luke 11:2-4, NIV). Amen.
Thought for the Day: What do I need to clear away so that I can grow spiritually today?
— Merry Gultom
Merry Gultom’s flowerpots are a great way to consider those things or practices that hinder our relationship with God.
There is a recent commercial that uses the line “When you know that the gardening gene has skipped a generation.” I always laugh because I am clearly “that” generation. My mother could grow anything and spent hours tending her gardens and lawn, but I don’t have those skills, nor am I interested in developing them.
Still, when I think about Merry Gultom’s perspective, I am reminded to consider my own life, discern the weeds and grass that are hindering my relationship with God, and work hard to eliminate them.
What might you need to “weed” out, so that your relationship with God can grow and prosper?