• Jon Forrest

Growing takes effort

The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Growing Takes Effort

Two people planted a garden on the same day. They both dug up the ground, prepared the soil and planted the same kinds of seeds. However, one of the gardeners walked away and left the patch unattended while the other worked almost every day to tend the soil, keep the plants watered, hoe and pull the weeds, place protective screens and the like around the plants that were vulnerable to rabbits and other vermin and generally nursed it along.

A couple of months later the first gardener went to see what had been produced. Tremendous disappointment filled the gardener’s heart because the weeds had taken over and many of the plants were dead or dying. All of the produce found was scraggly and not worth eating. He went away thinking, “This garden was a waist of my time. I’m sorry I ever planted it.”

On the same day, the second gardener went out to discover a wealth of delicious vegetables waiting to be picked. It took basket upon basket to harvest the plunder. This gardener came away with a smile thinking, “This is the most valuable use of my time and energy. I don’t have to go to the store for veggies that cost more and aren’t nearly as good. I’m so glad I planted a garden.”

What was the difference? The difference was effort.

The same is true for many who enter the Christian life. Some come out of the baptistry thinking, “Well, I did it! I’m saved!” and they never do another thing with their faith.

Others come out excited about their walk with Jesus seeking more ways to build upon their faith. They read their Bibles regularly, attend worship services and Bible Studies, pray regularly and reach out to others to share their faith and help others in need.

The difference again is effort.

In the first chapter of 2 Peter, the Apostle tells us that we have a calling to live the faith we have professed. Look at verses 5-9:

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.

It takes attentiveness and effort to grow a Christian life. The effort isn’t about getting saved. It’s about building on what Jesus has given you through your faith. You won’t grow if you don’t give attention to the life Jesus has placed inside of you.

So, keep growing.

This Sunday, I’ll be back in the pulpit of First Christian Church resuming our series from Peter’s letters called Living Hope. The message is from 2 Peter 1:3-11 and titled, “Confirm Your Calling.” I hope you will join us in person or on Facebook Live at 10:30am. I’ll look forward to sharing with you.

Growing with you,


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