Crack a pinecone.
Sure, smash it with a hammer, stomp it with your foot, or chuck it against the ground.
You can’t hurt the seeds inside. When they come out, you’ll hardly recognize them. They are tiny things with wing-like structures that allow them to disperse in the slightest breeze.
Planted, they can grow to enormous size. The longleaf pine can reach upwards of 250 feet.
Yet scatter the seeds over a parking lot . . . or overfertilize . . . or mow them down . . . and all you get is . . . nothing at all. Your seed will never mature into its full-size glory.
Christians mature in much the same way. We must smash away our old self to expose the newborn Christian inside. Then, planted in Christ, we become towering edifices for the Lord.
Ephesians 2:3-6 reveals how it works:
“We all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”
God’s work in us through salvation is unearthed in three parts.
1. We once lived in our flesh. That’s our pinecone.
2. God made us alive with Christ. That’s the hammer that smashes our old self.
3. He raised us up with him. We tower in the air, spiritually mature through continued faith in our Lord.
When we plant ourselves in the Word, water our roots with time in prayer, and bask in the sunshine of fellowship with our fellow Christians, we will grow to full maturity in Christ. That’s God’s goal for us, and with faith in him, we will soon grow beyond everything that we once were.
When we are rooted in Christ, we will become giant warriors for him.
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