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God and I raised a flower bed. He really did the most.
We used His soil, His air, His rain, His life, and His sun.
My part seemed so trivial that I said, "Lord, you take those bulbs and make them grow right there in the box out in the garage. You don't need me, Lord. You can do it by yourself."
"Oh, no," He said. "I will do my part, but you must do your part also. You'll have to dig the bed, bury the bulbs, and pull the weeds."
So I did my feeble part. And God took the bulb, filled it with life, fed it from the soil, showered it with rain, and flooded it with sunshine until we had a beautiful flower bed.
Your life is like a garden, and if you like, God can make it a beautiful thing.
He says, "I'll furnish the soil of grace, the sunshine of love, the rains of blessings, and the wonder of life. But you must do the digging."
Some people say, "Lord, you can do it by yourself. You just go ahead and make me what you want me to be. Make me a saint, give me great faith, and fill me with love and good works."
"Oh, no," God replies. "You've got to plow up the false teachings, plant my word in your heart, and hoe out the weeds of evil. I'll make you pure, clean, noble, and useful. But only if you dig."
- I have quoted these thoughts from Bob Benson (quotation slightly adapted; via Griffith Courier, 9/30/79).
Many people think God will forgive their sins without any effort on their part, as long as they simply believe that Jesus is the Savior.
But the Bible says that Jesus is "the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him" - Hebrews 5:9.
And again, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth ..." - I Peter 1 :22.
We are saved by God's power and grace, just as surely as we grow a beautiful flower garden by God's power and grace. But both require effort on our part.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2017
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.