Last summer my husband and I made homemade ice-cream using our ice cream maker. Homemade ice-cream is one of our favorite summer traditions! There’s nothing like listening to it spin and work for hours before the milk and sugar becomes a solid. It’s a slow process of watching it churn and circle and adding rock salt and ice to the outside mixture is necessary for the ice-cream to stay cold. After we had our delicious ice-cream, I had no idea what to do with the watery rock-salt mixture left over in our ice-cream maker. The most logical thing to me at the time was to dump it out over our back porch. A few weeks later we went outside and were looking at the yard behind us and noticed a giant patch of dead grass with rock salt still sitting on top of it. Unknowingly, I dumped a toxic mixture onto the grass causing it to die. (Don’t worry…I have never done this again and the grass grew back this year!)
As I was reading Paul’s prayer for the church in Philippi, the Lord pointed out to me that we must be rooted and watered by the love of Christ. Paul says:
“And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
Did you notice that? Love is the foundation of Gospel-centered, Christ-exalting living. Love gives us the ability to know how to live for Jesus and cleanses us from our wayward sins. Love is not stagnant, but should be constantly growing. The reality is that most of us have allowed bitterness, resentment, doubt, lies and unbelief to choke love and cause it to shrivel in our hearts. We have been watered by the toxic “rock salt” lies of Satan and been left without life or hope.
Bitterness and resentment are lethal to the life of a believer. They will drain all life from your heart and all perspective from your eyes. I have felt the pang of resentment and the effects of it in my own life. Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can set us free from the power of these emotions. Most of us live trying to cover up the mess that is in our hearts. We try to kick the dirt over our hurt, our shame, our jealousy and our need for grace. Over and over again the Bible brings us back to heart. God is not concerned about what we do, but about the state of our heart. (Hosea 6:6, Psalm 51:17, Proverbs 16:1-3) Our motives direct our steps. Our dreams reveal our worship. Our response to life and people reveals our humility and/or pride. Our feelings reveal what we allow to water us.
Is the love of Christ watering your heart today? Does your life produce the fruit of righteousness, multiplying the Gospel and displaying the glory of salvation? Or is your heart being watered by the poisonous lies of Satan, toxic bitterness and resentment and the “rock salt” of unbelief? You are not alone. The areas of your heart that have been dried up by Satan can be redeemed again by the grace of Jesus Christ. Pray and cling to this prayer today (read it out loud if you are able) –
“Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” (Psalm 51:9-12)
Sisters, may we soak in the grace of Jesus Christ and sit in His presence. Sometimes I can’t even mutter the words of my heart, but the Words of Scripture say what I cannot say to my Savior. I am going to delight in truth today and trust the Lord to water all of us with the unending, never-failing love of Jesus Christ.
soaking in grace,