Change takes time. Peter’s life displays a man who developed spiritually over years with ups and downs. Yet time was not the only factor in Peter’s development. Left to time without proper care and nourishment, stagnation comes, and life that once was present will die out. Peter grew because his lifetime was spent cultivating his relationship with God. Foundational to that goal is seeking to understand who God has revealed Himself to be through His word. Peter affirms his belief in the importance of knowing God through scripture in places like Matthew 16:16; Acts 2:14-36, 3:13-26, and 10:43. In fact, his final recorded charge is about the connection between knowing Jesus and knowing Scripture. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
Jesus taught the importance of the word of God in the parable of the sower (Luke 8:4-15). The best gardens begin with good soil. But without something to plant, it is just some nice dirt. The seed is where life begins. In Jesus’ parable, the soil is the heart of a person (Luke 8:15). The seed—that which gives life—is the word of God (Luke 8:11). Three of the four soil types—pathway, rocky, weedy—all represented different reasons to end up with the same end: no final crop. The seed never produced and the plants eventually died. Yet, the word of God planted in a good heart can yield “a hundredfold.” Any farmer would love a soil like that! That is the kind of soil that you KEEP putting seed into. Planting God’s word is never a one-and-done concept in our lives.
It is God’s word, constantly planted within us, that makes proper change possible. The Psalmist’s blessing to the one who delights in the law of the Lord is a lasting, fruitful life (Psalm 1). James’ command to receive the implanted word has the effect of salvation (James 1:21). We learn to love from a pure heart because we have been born of imperishable seed (1 Peter 1:22-23)!
Change takes time. But it is only through a constant planting of God’s word in our lives that will produce healthy change. Change that is able to “discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable, and perfect” (Romans 12:2).
Is the word of God growing in your life and mine? Or are there some other seeds that have been sown that are unnecessarily taking the place of His word? What is growing in your garden?
Graeber Road church of Christ