Cook Time

I think I cooked up a nice mess for myself over the winter.

Just look at this lovely patch of grass growing in my flower garden, m.a.y.b.e. shoulder-high to a grasshopper. The arrow is pointing to seeds already formed, and it’s not even April!

Early spring grass going to seed

I pulled a ton of grass out of this area in the fall, then I tossed compost over most of it.

And that’s where the mess came in.

We had added lawn grass clippings to the compost, then tossed and cooked it all together in the bright summer sun. It looks like I didn’t properly “cook” it to kill those grass seeds!

Once they were spread in their new soil bed, they were all too happy to sprout. I’m not exactly thrilled to see the resulting lawn trying to take over my flower garden.

Any good chef will tell you that cook time matters a great deal. It affects taste, texture, color, and even food safety.

Are you cooking your seeds long enough?

The Bible gives us a number of things to get rid of, like this list in Ephesians 4:31:

“Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior” (NLT).

Or this encouragement from Hebrews 12:1:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”

We can put a lot of effort into cleaning the weeds out of our lives as we learn to live in obedience to the Spirit of God. Things start looking really good!

Pride whispers that we don’t need God’s help anymore, and we begin thinking we’ve got this new life under control. Complacency sets in. We find ourselves drifting back into old situations, and wouldn’t you know it, those weed seeds start sprouting!

Attitudes and behaviors we thought were dead and gone are suddenly alive and well.

What happened? We left the cleansing heat of the Son.

We must realize that we can’t live a pure life without God’s help!

“If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:8‭-‬9).

Forgiveness is not only a New Testament theme. Psalm 32:5 says,

“Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone.”

Not only does God forgive and cleanse us when we ask, He also gives us the strength to live a new life that pleases him.

“And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death” (Romans 8:2).

All of this depends on humility, submission and obedience. As soon as we start thinking we’ve got it all together in our own strength, trouble starts brewing and the wrong seeds start sprouting!

So what’s the proper cook time for the weed seeds of life?

A lifetime.

A lifetime of learning humility, acknowledging our weakness, and squashing our pride.

A lifetime of listening to the Spirit of God, learning how to put his Word into practice, and confessing the ways we fall short.

A lifetime of accepting his grace and mercy, leaning on his strength and power to live godly lives, and shining his light into the darkness around us.

Now it’s your turn!

Have you noticed any weeds sprouting up lately? Take them to your master gardener, and let him clean you up! Here’s a prayer David prayed:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalms 139:23‭-‬24).

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