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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Three Important Trees in My Garden

“…your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love,

and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I Thessalonians 1:3 NIV

There are three trees in my garden that rise tall above all else in my garden and provide shade to the ferns, Hosta, Hellebores and the Bleeding Hearts. They are the mighty oaks. These three oak trees also provide shelter and shade for me as I set under them and allow God to refresh and restore my soul.

As God and I sit together he whispered the names of those trees to me. Their names are Faith, Hope and Love. God informed me that these three trees are the main foundational trees in my garden. I know this is true because, as a Christian, my faith is based upon what I believe about Jesus Christ and his personal gift of salvation for me. My work is an outflow of my love for Jesus Christ and I am inspired by the hope I have in Jesus Christ and his return.

What I believe about God and his goodness is my faith, my godly actions and responses to others is the work I do out of love for Jesus, and how I endure the difficulties of life is my personal witness that reflects my hope for my eternal future.

Yes, faith, hope and love are the foundational truths in the life of all believers. Without them where would any of us be? When those foundational trees have taken root deep within our hearts, we will be without a doubt the positive people of godly influence that God intends us to be. I don’t believe this will happen without us being intentional about the amount of time we spend alone with God.

There are many creative ways that we can learn more about God throughout our day. All of those ways are valuable, but the times of deepest learning is always found in solitude. I encourage you to find a secluded spot where you can meet privately with God. Going to the garden of your heart to be alone with Jesus is the very place where he will speak the sweetest, most amazing and enlightening words you will ever hear. His words to you and your time of prayer with him will become sacred and precious to you. As you learn more about God the foundational trees that God has planted in your heart’s garden, they will grow taller year after year as their roots dig down deeper and deeper into the fertile soil of your heart!


How deeply rooted are God’s foundational truths in your heart?

Today what are you struggling the most: faith, hope or love?

How has past experiences increased your faith in God?

How has God spurred you on to love him and others more?

Today where is your hope for the world, your eternal future, and Jesus’ return?

Are you intent on spending time alone with God?


Dear God,

Thank you for the three wonderful spiritual constants that you have given to me. The faith to believe, your love that will stretch me into serving you and others, and the hope I have for eternity. These are the things that will enrich and sustain me in this life. I am reminded that you have said in your word that “now there remains faith, hope and love, but that the greatest of these is love.” Thank you for loving me even when I was unlovable. I pray that you will enable me to love others with the same selfless love that you have shown toward me. Give me the desire to spend more and more time alone with you so that faith, hope and love will become deeply rooted in my life.

In the Name of Your Son I pray. Amen.