By Toni Ford
I would not say that I am the best with plants, but over my years of trying to grow plants, I have learned a few things that plants need in order to grow and be healthy.
The first thing is that plants grow best when we pay attention to them. This means watering, touching them and putting them in places where they will receive good light. Plants need people around them to notice if they are drooping at the edges or looking particularly happy in the sunlight. The more attention a plant receives, the better it will grow.
People are similar to plants in that we need each other. At the same time, we need to look for ways to encourage others. We help the people around us by being willing to listen when they walk through hard times as well as rejoicing with them in good times. We all need someone to care about how we are doing, as well as being willing to show care towards others.
I am reminded of two examples in scripture where God shows His love towards each one of us and how He encourages us to show that love towards one another.
Matthew 18:12-14 says, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.”
Hebrews 10:23-25 says, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Two things stand out to me from these scriptures. First, this is how God sees each one of us. Every single person matters to Him, and He will do whatever it takes to go after the “one.” The “one” matters to Him, so much so that Jesus emptied Himself, took the form of a servant and became obedient to the point of death to save us. This is the very heart of God and the mission of Christ. God also cares about the body of Christ and wants us as believers to grow and mature in Christ and in fellowship with one another. He knows that we need Him and we need one another!
Second, this is how we should see others. These scriptures challenge us to see our mission with others as two-fold. One is to examine our own hearts, to see God’s heart and to move with compassion to reach the lost with the hope of Christ. The second is to build up other believers in Christ. We are to encourage others, which might mean leaving our comfort zones and selfish desires behind to join God in building up His body of believers!
Dear Father, today I thank you for caring enough for me that you came to this earth and were obedient to the point of death just so that I could have eternal life! Thank you that I matter and that each person on this earth matters to You! I pray that today, I would see others the way you see them and that I would be moved to compassion to for others as you are! I love you and thank you for loving me!
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!