Called and Planted by God by Pr Paddick Van Zyl
8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden [delight]; and there He put H7760 the man whom He had formed (framed, constituted).
H7760 (Strong's Concordance)
A primitive root; to put (used in a great variety of applications, literally, figuratively, inferentially and elliptically): - X any wise, appoint, bring, call [a name], care, cast in, change, charge, commit, consider, convey, determine, disguise, dispose, do, get, give, heap up, hold, impute, lay (down, up), leave, look, make (out), mark, name, X on, ordain, order, paint, place, preserve, purpose, put (on), regard, rehearse, reward, (cause to) set (on, up), shew, stedfastly, take, X tell, tread down, ([over-]) turn, X wholly, work.
And the LORD God took the man, and put H5117 him into the gardenof Edento dress it and to keep it.
H5117 (Strong's Concordance)
A primitive root; to rest, that is, settle down; used in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively, intransitively, transitively and causatively (to dwell, stay,letfall, place, letalone, withdraw, givecomfort, etc.): - cease, be confederate, lay, let down, (be) quiet, remain, (cause to, be at, give, have, make to) rest, set down. Compare H3241.
Have you ever wondered why in the world did God direct you to CBC? Why are you a member of this church and not some other church? Hopefully we will have these questions answered today ….
In Genesis God planted the Garden of Eden (delicate, delight) it must have been magnificent with all the flowers and trees and birds and He placed Adam and even in this Garden He planted them (look at Heb for ‘put’) in this delightful place. This is a foreshadow, I think, of the Body of Christ of what the Body of Christ should look like to the world:
• A tranquil place
• A place of rest and peace
• A place of safety
• A place of growth
Yet, We find that in this day and age So many believers in Christ seek for
• the ultimate church,
• the most popular pastor or
• the church that has the best of everything on offer.
• Some churches will even go so as far as selling you your favorite chair,you like to sit in Sunday after Sunday, for a small donation to the building fund.
• Then on the other hand we find many believers in the body of Christ, today that are rolling stones….and we know the age old saying: “A rolling stone never gathers moss”.
• They are for ever seeking out new ministries and have not yet found the ministry where they belong…..
A. God plants us in a ministry and church for a reason
*God is the master gardener from the beginning of time and when we look at Genesis 2:8 we can see that He planted not only the Garden of Eden for man but He also Placed or planted Adam in the garden where He fellow shipped with Adam and Eve.
*Through disobedience to God’s Word and through their own choice , Adam and Eve uprooted themselves from the Garden where God had planted them and the consequences that followed their decision has affected all of mankind (Rom 5:12):
Rom 5:12 NKJV
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.
You might think that you drifted or stumbled upon CBC one fine day, like my wife and I always thought, yet it was all in God’s design and plan.
B. We are to plant ourselves in His Word and in the body of Christ
• Feed on the Word daily
• Spend time in prayer and God’s presence
• Fellowship with fellow believers around the Word
• Discover our gift/calling is and develop it
• Use our gift to bless others
• Extend the ministry with our gift
What do trees need to grow healthy and develop a strong root system:?
• Water = The Word of God
• Sunlight = Fellowship with other believers
• Fertilizer and manure = Counsel of the pastoral team
• Pruning = Counsel of God
• Time = Staying, grounded in one church
What do trees do who have the above ………?
• They give their shade when it’s hot = Offer love to fellow believers through their gifts
• They give protection from the rain = Offer understating and prayerful ear in time of need
• They offer a place for birds to make their nesting place = Offer fellow believers encouragement and wisdom from God’s Word
• They produce fruit = The touch the world showing them the love of Christ
Some trees can actually ‘communicate’ with each other. When Willows are attacked by web worms and caterpillars, they emit a chemical that ‘alerts’ nearby Willow trees of the danger. The neighbouring trees then respond by pumping more Tannin into their leaves thus making it difficult for the insects to digest the leaves. We are to be the same when we see a brother or sister being attached by the enemy, we need to pray more.
1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes, but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit"
• When we are "planted" we have roots, stability, a reservoir of living water. We are always "spreading out," fruitful and green with fresh life.
• It’s as if God has a pallet of colours, every colour there could possibly be. And He’s going to paint you. So He dips His brush and takes a little of this and a little of this and a little of this and a little of this and paints you. And you’re you and you are the combination of the categories from which giftedness is drawn, blended together to be you.
• There’s nobody like it. Nobody like you. There are a lot of pastors, evangelists, teachers, givers, etc. but no one is cut out of the same mold.
• And it’s because
when God dips His brush into the pallet with all the options, He paints you just the way you are, you have been given a unique and special gift. And if you don’t do what you’re called and gifted to do, it doesn't get done in the way that God designed it to get done.
10 J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
10-11 Serve one another with the particular gifts God has given each of you, as faithful dispensers of the magnificently varied grace of God. If any of you is a preacher then he should preach his message as from God. And in whatever way a man serves the Church he should do it recognising the fact that God gives him his ability, so that God may be glorified in everything through Jesus Christ. To him belong praise and power for ever, amen!
10 As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
Christ gave you that gift. So what are you doing with the gift that He gave you? This is from Him personally to you. Another way to look at it is people give you gifts, right? And you may stick the gift somewhere in the closet, but if they’re coming over to dinner, that thing comes out. If it’s an ugly vase, it’s in the middle of the table, right? Because you want to honor the giver of the gift. Well Christ is the guest in your life permanently. He always sits at your table every day and He knows what you do with the gift that He gave you.
So what is your response to the giver? If I don’t not use the gifts He gave me :
• It’s an insult to His grace,
• it’s a rebuff of His love,
• it’s indifference to His plan,
• it’s a spurning of His generosity.
• What else am I going to do with my life but use the gift He gave me?
*We serve not only because of the source of the service, Christ, but because of the cost. It cost Jesus His very own life on the cross.
So again, if you have a gift that somebody gives you, you’re going to bring it out and you’re going to use it because you want to honour the giver. But if the price of that gift is infinite, then what level of importance does it take?
So when you ask yourself, what am I doing with my life? The real question is, what am I doing with my gift? What am I doing with what Christ has given me, the right to give it demanding such cost?
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
14 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
16 from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
• The idea is indicated there in verse 15. We’re to grow up in all aspects into Him. Everybody participating, we grow up to be like our head.
• Verse 16 says the body is fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies according to the proper working of each individual part. And this causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
• Christ wants His body all glorious. He wants His church glorious. He wants His church to be a true replication of Himself in the world. He wants people to see Christ in us.
• And the way they see Christ in us is when we grow up to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ. How does that happen?
• It happens not just when the teachers teach and the preachers preach, but when the saints do the work of the ministry, when we use all of our gifts, we grow up in the unity of the faith, understanding the truth. We grow up in the likeness of Jesus Christ. We grow up to know Him deeply to be mature, to reach the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.He desires to build His church to maturity, to Christ likeness. What contribution are you making to that?
• It’s only when the body fully functions that the church matures.
• And it’s only when the church matures that it grows beyond susceptibility to error trickery of men and craftiness of cunning deceit.
• The church protects itself as it grows toward Christ’s likeness, as well as advancing itself in the world by making the gospel believable and the glory of Christ manifest.
• How important is it to you to be a part of the growth of the church? It’s important to Christ. That’s what He desires, that’s what He gifted you for.
9 For we are fellow workmen (joint promoters, laborers together) with and for God; you are God’s [a]garden and vineyard and field under cultivation, [you are] God’s building.
10. “According to the grace of God which was given to me.”
We don’t work for God, we work with Him. We’re God’s fellow workers. We work with God according to whatever measure of grace has been dispensed to us, we work with God on that measure. And so I want to be a wise master builder, I want to take this gift and I want to build wisely.
You might say, “Well I’m not sure what my gift is.” Here is a simple test:
• What do people respond to in your spiritual ministry?
• What do people tell you they see you doing effectively?
• What do people enjoy in you as a person?
• What do people respond to in your life?
• What warms your own heart?
• What moves and compels you in other people?
4 For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,
5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. 6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;
7 or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;
8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.
!!TYING OFF THE TAP ROOT*
The Japanese introduced a tree to the world that is called a Bonsai tree. It is measured in inches instead of feet as other trees are measured. It is not allowed to reach anywhere near its full growth potential but instead grows in a stunted miniature form.
The reason for it growing in stunted form is that when it first stuck its head out of the ground as a sapling, the owner pulled it out of the soil and tied off its main tap root and some of its branch feeder roots and then replanted it. By doing this, its grower deliberately stunted its growth by limiting the roots ability to spread out and grow deep and take in enough of the soils nutrients for a normal growth. (*Bill Lobbs)
What can we learn from the bonsai tree?
• It looks beautiful and good yet it cannot withstand climatic changes
• It has a shallow root system
• It will never grow higher than a certain amount of cm’s
• If we transplant ourselves out of the Lord’s will /plan form our life we will stunt our growth
• We need the Word and the fellowship with the Father and other believers
• We need to be active where God has called us to serve in order to grow
• We need to employ our gift in the church for our ‘roots’ to expand
In closing:(If time permits read Three Trees)
!!!The Three Trees
Once there were three trees on a hill in the woods. They were discussing their hopes and dreams when the first tree said "Someday I hope to be a treasure chest. I could be filled with gold, silver and precious gems. I could be decorated with intricate carving and everyone would see the beauty."
Then the second tree said, "Someday I will be a mighty ship. I will take kings and queens across the waters and sail to the corners of the world. Everyone will feel safe in me because of the strength of my hull."
Finally the third tree said, "I want to grow to be the tallest and straightest tree in the forest. People will see me on top of the hill and look up to my branches, and think of the heavens and God and how close to them I am reaching. I will be the greatest tree of all time and people will always remember me."
After a few years of praying that their dreams would come true, a group of woodsmen came upon the trees. When one came to the first tree he said, "This looks like a strong tree, I think I should be able to sell the wood to a carpenter, "and he began cutting it down. The tree was happy, because he knew that the carpenter would make him into a treasure chest.
At the second tree the woodsman said, "This looks like a strong tree, I should be able to sell it to the shipyard." The second tree was happy because he knew he was on his way to becoming a mighty ship.
When the woodsmen came upon the third tree, the tree was frightened because he knew that if they cut him down his dreams would not come true. One of the woodsmen said, "I don't need anything special from my tree, I'll take this one," and he cut it down.
When the first tree arrived at the carpenters, he was made into a feed box for animals. He was then placed in a barn and filled with hay. This was not at all what he had prayed for.
The second tree was cut and made into a small fishing boat. His dreams of being a mighty ship and carrying kings had come to an end.
The third tree was cut into large pieces and left alone in the dark. The years went by, and the trees forgot
about their dreams. Then one day, a man and woman came to the barn. She gave birth and they placed the baby in the hay in the feed box that was made from the first tree. The man wished that he could have made a crib for the baby, but this manger would have to do. The tree could feel the importance of this event and knew that it had held the greatest treasure of all time.
Years later, a group of men got in the fishing boat made from the second tree. One of them was tired and went to sleep. While they were out on the water, a great storm arose and the tree didn't think it was strong enough to keep the men safe. The men woke the sleeping man, and He stood and said "Peace" and the storm stopped. At this time, the tree knew that it had carried the King of Kings in its boat.
Finally, someone came and got the third tree. It was carried through the streets as the people mocked the man who was carrying it. When they came to a stop, the man was nailed to the tree and raised in the air to die at the top of a hill. When Sunday came, the tree came to realize that it was strong enough to stand at the top of the hill and be as close to God as was possible, because Jesus had been crucified on it. (www.bible.org)
The moral of this story is that …….God created you with a special gift and purpose for the body of Christ and if you do not use or employ your gift then many others will not be touched by your gift and there will be a lacking in the body of Christ
• There is nothing quite like a healthy beautiful tree that bears sweet fruit and provides cooling shade on a hot day just like there is something about a tree that is not properly cared for and in need of nourishment.
• If you are where you are planted, that is where you are called, and your call is God’s plan for your life and His plan is the life He wants you to live all this has been woven into His master plan for humanity
• God plants us in the place and ministry He wants us to be in so we may accomplish His plan/purpose for our lives and also bring glory to Him through our lives.
We are called by God, given the gifts we need by God to bless the body of Christ where God plants us.