PROGRAM D-7898

We think of gardens as beautiful things, but no garden can be beautiful or productive if it is not carefully planted and tended. To garden God’s way in the garden of your life, you need three rows of “peas”—peace of soul, peace of mind, and peace of heart, and you need three rows of “squash”—squash gossip, squash indifference, and squash selfishness. You also need three rows of “lettuce”: Let us be faithful, let us be pure, and let us love one another.

“Lettuce” be faithful. Faithfulness is another word for perseverance. We won’t find a lot of this “lettuce” in gardens today because we are so into instant gratification; persevering and hanging-in-there are rare virtues. Paul wrote this to the Galatians: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9). Do you become weary in doing good? I have to tell you that I do at times. But if we will plant faithfulness in our lives, we will reap a harvest. If we give up, we’ll miss the harvest.

“Lettuce” be pure. Purity of life is essential if we are to serve God effectively. In Hebrews 12:1, we read, “. . . let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” In order to run the race, we must first throw off the sin that entangles us.

The standards of purity have been so watered down in our culture, that many of us forget God’s standards. Paul wrote to the Romans: “Let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy” (Romans 13:12-13).

If our gardens have any of these weeds of darkness growing there, our first job is to weed them out—and weed them out drastically and quickly. How we need Christians living lives of purity in this world today.

“Lettuce” love one another. Jesus said the world will know we are his if we love one another. Did you realize that this kind of love is not a feeling, but a choice? Did you know you can love people you don’t particularly like? Love is an action, which we choose, at times in spite of our feelings.

Do you have enough “lettuce” in your garden? I would challenge you to “lettuce” be faithful, “lettuce” be pure, and “lettuce” love one another. If you would obey these principles, how your life would impact your world!