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Teaching Children In The Garden

It's in the garden, amid the blooms and thistles, the soil and the stony ground, the dead seeds and lush vegetation where the story of sin and forgiveness, the Fall and Redemption, and life as one who has been engrafted into Christ can be told with real-life illustrations like no other. How fascinating it is that the place our children love to play is the same ground that can be used for discipling their eternal souls!

"Do you see that clematis? That's such a pretty vine! Jesus said that He was the True Vine. Everyone who loves Jesus has to bear fruit just like those purple flowers. Otherwise the Lord will cut off the dead branches like Mommy does so the rest can grow better."

I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. John 15:1-2

"These flowers are called a peonies. Sometimes flowers like to grow in fields of grass where the horses are, even though they'll get cut down when the farmer makes hay. If God even cares about clothing a field of grass with pretty flowers, then we certainly don't have to worry about where we will get our clothes because He cares for us even more!"
Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Matthew 6:30

"This pot is made out of clay. The person who made it is called a potter. The Bible says that God is the Potter and we are His clay. He made us and can do with us whatever He wants to do. That should make us very happy because God's plan for His people is perfect - much better than any sort of plan we could think of."

But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Isaiah 64:8

"These pumpkin seeds are dead. They won't grow if we leave them on the driveway. But if we put them in the garden where the soil is really healthy, they will begin to grow and produce beautiful orange pumpkins! Our hearts have to be like the soil in the garden, ready to receive God's Word with joy and produce fruit. If are hearts are stony like the driveway, than we will fall away from the Lord when temptation comes."

But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Matthew 13: 20, 21, 23

"What kind of plant is this? That's right, a tomato plant! How did you know? Because it has tomatoes! Jesus says of His people that by their fruits we will know them. The best way to tell if someone loves the Lord is if they want to do the things that please Him."

Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Matthew 7:16, 17

"When we're sick, we don't need to buy our medicine from the store. God tells us that the fruit from the plants He made are for food and the leaves are for medicine!"

And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine Ezekiel 47:12

The parallels here only scratch the surface. So much more could be said about Creation, the sin that enter the world by disobedience in Paradise, and what it means to be engrafted into Christ. Next time you're out pulling weeds, pause for a second and whisper these truths in to the eternal souls of your dirt-covered, sun kissed, wee ones.

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