Indeterminate or Determinant?

It will soon be time to start my tomatoes inside. With the balmy weather we’ve been having, I’m already suffering from spring fever! Very dangerous since it’s still January in northcentral PA! But, I noticed Walmart had the seeds displayed so I checked them out and bought a pack of Roma tomato seeds. This year I also looked a little closer at the description. Why? Well, last year’s tomato plants were of the indeterminate variety! Never heard that word? Neither had I!

Simply put, indeterminant plants do not stop growing while determinate plants do. There’s more to it than that, and the Gardener’s Path expertly explains it and many other gardening tips. However, for me, the lesson learned went far beyond how tomatoes grow. My garden was a mess last year! I planted indeterminate tomatoes and they just kept growing and growing. That sounds like a good thing, but they took over my little raised bed and pruning became a nightmare. I felt more like a chainsaw murderer than a pruner! And still, they just kept growing. And, because I couldn’t get them under control, they didn’t get enough sunlight to mature into beautiful, red tomatoes. My love for gardening was pushed to the limit, and a normally enjoyable hobby became a dread, all because of my ignorance about one little word.

So, what word are you overlooking that’s wreaking havoc in your home, office, or church? Perhaps it’s the word ‘forgiveness.’ Someone has wronged you and you will not forgive. I just taught a lesson at our Youth Connect to a class of 4th-6th graders on prayer based on Matthew 18:23-35 and the unforgiving servant. Did you know that the first servant owed the equivalent of about $3,480,000,000 while the servant that he would not forgive owed him around $580? The point is clear: God forgave our debt which we could never pay. So, when someone wrongs us, even the big offenses pale in light of what we have been forgiven. Unforgiveness destroys your relationships and is such a slap in the face of God. Can you imagine watching your son, your only son, suffer all the ramifications of the cross for an unforgiving people?

Or maybe your word is ‘trust.’ You just can’t find it in your heart to trust someone. It’s hard to trust sinful people, but how much worse not to trust God! Not trusting people will keep them at arm’s length, but not trusting God stops you in your tracks. You cannot move forward in your walk with God if you do not trust Him. If that is your word, do a little research. Find out all the wonderful reasons that you can trust God! It will change your life.

Perhaps the most misunderstood word for all of us is ‘love.’ Matthew Henry has quite a list of verses that deal with love, but the one entitled, “Love…Of Christ for Men” caught my attention. What can we learn about this little word, from the King of Love?

God’s love for us is:

  • Unchangeable
    • John 13:1 ¶ Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
  • Divine
    • John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
  • Self-sacrificing
    • John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
  • Inseparable
    • Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
  • Constraining
    • 2 Corinthians 5:14,15 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
  • Sacrificial
    • Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
      Ephesians 5:2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
  • Manifested by His Death
    • 1John 3:16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

The little word ‘love’ is an inexhaustable subject for all born-again believers. Learn from the Master, and it will improve every aspect of your life, not just your hobbies!


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