03 September 2011

Sometimes the sprinkling-can; sometimes the flower.

The sprinkling-can is the vessel that holds the water. It has a spout to disperse the water onto the flowers, gently and evenly. It can hold only so much water. It has to be emptied of its previous filling before it can take on more water. When there is yet more water from the barrel and this particular can is still full, the Gardener finds another vessel to fill. If the can sits too long, the water in it becomes stagnant; algae and mosquitoes could grow, and eventually, rust would eat a hole in the bottom. The flower is the recipient. The water nourishes the plant; it thrives and produces food for insects and small animals, and adds beauty to the garden. The water is not intended to benefit the can. The can’s purpose is to carry the water meant for the flowers. Likewise, although we may be the recipients of a blessing, the blessing is intended for others. The Lord uses His people to carry His blessings to others. When we receive from Him, we in turn must pass it on, pouring the blessing out like a sacrifice to the Lord. Otherwise, like water left in a can, it could become harmful to us; we could become greedy, selfish, or even lustful. When we bless others, they thank God and He receives the glory and praise that He is most worthy to receive. The flower drinks in the life-giving water and produces fruit. It blooms beautifully and in its capacity glorifies the Lord by its beauty, His creation. “Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love” [1 Corinthians 13:13]. Love is the greatest gift God gives us. Love has to be given away. If you don’t love others, you can love only yourself; if you keep it within, it will die. Keep it alive by keeping it moving. The more love you give, the more you will get to give even more. Don’t let this precious gift go to waste; give it away. Love is especially sweet when it is a sacrifice; giving love to your enemy, to the unlovely, and the unwanted; to those who do not know love. Don’t let the Lord find your vessel full from a previous filling; He won’t give you more if you haven’t used what you already have. “…I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing. The trees will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land…” [Ezekiel 34:26-27 niv] “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart’.” [John 7:38] “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is Love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” [1 John 4:16] All scriptures quoted from the New Living Translation unless noted otherwise.

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