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The Garden, the Robe and the Crown

The garden. A place of beauty.

Sun filtering

Through tree-stretched shelter.

Leaves softly cushioning,

Blooms, delicately adorning.

The garden is beauty.

 

But in the garden of the night

Beauty lies deeper.

A figure, bowed and pleading;

Life offered in sweat and blood

While friends sleep.

This garden, too, is beauty

 

A robe. A garment of honour.

Finest thread, finely woven.

The costliest of pigments

Stained deep, dark.

A vestment of eminence

The robe is beauty.

 

But on these scourged shoulders

Honour is yet unrevealed.

A soldier’s cloak

Carelessly draped.

Crowing mockery pierces,

While The Lamb silently waits

This robe, too, is beauty.

 

The crown. A majestic gilding

Artisan fashioned  

From Earth’s precious quarry.

Its gleaming glory

A royal entitlement.  

The crown is beauty.

 

But on this bloodied brow

The crown of Genesis’ curse

Only lances and stabs.

Crafted by man to taunt,

To the Suffering Servant,

This crown, too, is beauty.

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A Transformed Life

Whatever a man depends upon, whatever rules his mind, whatever governs his affections, whatever is the chief objective of his delight, is his god.
Charles H Spurgeon

In the book Just Like Jesus, author Max Lucado paints a picture of our thoughts as seeds – seeds producing either flowers or weeds. He makes the point that the ‘seeds’ we let take root and nurture, determine the state of our hearts and the lives we experience and live. If you enter 2018 with a desire to live transformed, Lucado would commend you to choose to take every thought captive, to lean on the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to check all that you think with the mind of Jesus.

“Everybody knows you harvest what you sow. You reap what you plant. Yet strangely, what we know when we develop land, we tend to forget when we cultivate our hearts.

Think for a moment of your heart as a greenhouse. The similarities come quickly. It, too, is a magnificent gift from your father. It, too, is perfectly suited for growing. And your heart, like a greenhouse has to be managed.

Consider for a moment your thoughts as seed. Some thoughts become flowers. Others become weeds. Sow seeds of hope and enjoy optimism. Sow seeds of doubt and expect insecurity. ‘People harvest only what they plant.’ [Galatians 6:7]”

“You’ve got to admit some of our hearts are trashed out. Let any riffraff knock on the door, and we throw it open. Anger shows up, and we let him in. Revenge needs a place to stay, so we have him pull up a chair. Pity wants to have a party, so we show him the kitchen. Lust rings the bell and we change the sheets. Don’t we know how to say no?

For most of us, thought management is, well, unthought of. We think about time management, personnel management, even scalp management. But what about thought management? Shouldn’t we be as concerned about managing our thoughts as we are managing anything else? Jesus was.”

“Jesus guarded his heart. If he did, shouldn’t we do the same? …Jesus wants your heart to be fertile and fruitful. He wants you to have a heart like his. That is God’s goal for you.

“To have a pure heart, we must submit all thoughts to the authority of Christ. If we are willing to do that, he will change us to be like him. Here’s how it works.

Let’s return to the image of a greenhouse. Your heart is a fertile greenhouse ready to produce good fruit. Your mind is the doorway to your heart—the strategic place where you determine which seeds are sown and which seeds are discarded. The Holy Spirit is ready to help you manage and filter the thoughts that try to enter. He can help you guard your heart. 

He stands with you on the threshold. A thought approaches, a questionable thought. Do you throw open the door and let it enter? Of course not! You ‘fight to capture every thought until it acknowledges the authority of Christ’ [2 Corinthians 10:5 PHILLIPS]. You don’t leave the door unguarded.”

 

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