by Pastor Tim Burt
Not far from my house is a home that used to be owned by a couple whom were tremendous gardeners. I was told that he worked for a nursery and it was obvious from the constant display of beautiful flowers blooming in each season, that he and his wife knew what they were doing. In taking long walks or runs, I made sure that passing their home was a part of the course I'd take. I was never disappointed. Their flowers were amazing. I never really met this couple but should have. That was my bad. I should have simply knocked on their door and told them how much I admired their flowers.
Anyway, they moved. I didn't know they had until I noticed something different about their house. The flower gardens were full of weeds. I saw a neighbor and asked if the same people lived there and if they were all right. He told me that they had moved and he had new neighbors. They were not gardeners and neglected the gardens because they simply weren't interested nor knew what to do. Each year that went by, the garden looked worse and worse until the weeds overtook the garden and killed most of it. It struck me as so sad. If a picture could ever be painted of neglect and it's outcome, this was the picture!
God has something to say about neglect. He says we shouldn't neglect reading His word which helps us hear His voice. He says we shouldn't neglect gathering together in the church as the church. This is where as the body of Christ, we learn together, become community together, and strengthen each other's as we reach the world. God says we shouldn’t neglect wise counsel over our own prideful thinking or stubborn ways. He says we shouldn’t neglect the spiritual gifts—those talents and abilities within us to touch others with His love. His word teaches us not to neglect the godly relationships that become voices and examples to keep us in check and anchored in living a life for Him. And He with great warning teaches us to be careful not to neglect our salvation—His plan to save us from our sins and to bless our life through Jesus. He says don’t neglect it because if you do, how will you escape the life and its consequences you were heading toward before Jesus rescued you?
Hebrews 2:3 (The Message Bible) It’s crucial that we keep a firm grip on what we've heard so that we don't drift off. If the old message delivered by the angels was valid and nobody got away with anything, do you think we can risk neglecting this latest message, this magnificent salvation?
What does neglect look like? Like the picture I painted about those beautiful gardens - something beautiful, neglected, taken over by weeds, and almost dying. That’s what neglect does. Our relationship with Jesus could be a beautiful and wonderful relationship but neglect can make it feel dead. Significant relationships can suffer. The yard can start to look like an overgrown weed pile. The house can become tattered and torn. Neglect comes from the family of lazy, procrastination, and indifference.
The story of Nehemiah (that actually begins with the story of Ezra) is a story of neglect turned to passion. Jerusalem had been torn down and neglected. No one did anything about it until God moved on the heart of two men - Nehemiah and Ezra the priest. Those two men's prayers and passion led to the stirring of others, who then miraculously by God's help, rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem and reestablished the city, temple worship, and the home of the Jews. They fought passionately for what they new was good and right before God and experienced their miracle.
What's the solution? It's simple. Passionately embrace and love that which is important and good. Showing passionate love and care to that which is important and a gift from God to you, produces something beautiful! How can we neglect something significant and think it won't make a difference? Only deception produces that kind of thinking. Know what’s right to do and ask God to strengthen you in your inner man to do it. Then stop neglecting and begin to show passion toward doing that which is good! Make things beautiful! God will help you every step of the way! It’s His will.
Matthew 23:23 (NLT) “... do not neglect the more important things."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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