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What’s with the Sunflower?

By July 23, 2015 Essential Truths

SeedlingHave you ever witnessed a day in the life of a sunflower? A wonderful change takes place as new life shoots upward from the small colorless, seemingly lifeless seed. That precious, delicate seedling thrives in good soil, with plenty of sunlight and water.
While both light and water are necessary for growth, light also exposes things once in darkness, and water cleanses that which is unclean. These concepts are foundational to our walk in Christ.

Basking in the Light

The sunflower thrives on sunlight, and therefore you will find the fledgling sunflower always facing and pointing toward the sun. Why? This is where it finds life.

 

Wouldn’t you think it strange to discover a sunflower heading face-down, returning to the ground? With plenty of sunlight and water, it doesn’t have an option but to grow and live. Remove these two essential elements, and you will soon discover the delicate seedling does not have an option but to perish.

 

The sunflower doesn’t have to perish, though.

Jesus said, “I am the the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by (or through) Me. (John 14:6)

 

Jesus also said: “I am come that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” But no one can live an abundant life (temporally or eternally) without coming to Him in sincere repentance and heartfelt brokenness, realizing they have sinned against a holy and just God.

Jesus Christ is the Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2). The maturing sunflower looks to the sun and follows it by the second. It thrives by this simple, childlike behavior. As believers we are called to be childlike in our relationship; to abide in the light of the Son; to keep our eyes on Jesus, as Peter did, albeit momentarily, on the sea many years ago and was safe, lest we look elsewhere and sink into the dark depths of the raging sea around us.

But what if we kept our eyes on Jesus every day, for every need, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5)… do you think we would thrive? We are promised abundant life and growth. As we die to ourselves, as in the case of the fully mature sunflower, not only is abundant fruit our witness of our walk with the Lord Jesus, but a multitude of seeds are sown to those around us.

 

But, this is only IF we are properly positioned… surrendered. Dear brother or sister, are you properly positioned in Christ? Are you in the Light of the Son? According to Jesus, many will think they are, but will NOT make it in to be with the Lord.

 

Then said one unto him, “Lord, are there few that be saved?” And He said unto them, “Strive to enter in at the strait [narrow] gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

(Luke 13:23-24)

 

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?’  And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.’ ”

(Matthew 7:21-23)

You might be asking what it means to be “positioned” in Christ, but we need not look any further than His Word:

So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.
(Luke 14:33)

 

Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
(Matthew 16:24)

 

And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
(Mark 8:34)

Notice Jesus was not talking only to the twelve. He was talking to anyone who will follow Him. This includes you and me. Are we willing to come after Him and follow Him… forsaking ALL?

Being a disciple of Jesus is more than mere words; it means giving it all over to Him (heart and possessions) and then obeying His leading in your life. You have been purchased with a price: the blood of Jesus Christ.

 

You are bought with a price; don’t be the servants of men.
(I Corinthians 7:23)

For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
(I Corinthians 6:20)

In Christ, we have no rights of our own. Our life is no longer ours, but now we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to our precious Lord and Saviour, Jesus.

 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
(Romans 12:1)

Without the sun, the sunflower will perish. Without the Sun of Righteousness, Jesus Christ, there is no life, no growth and no fruit, just withering and death. However, God’s Word promises:

 

if we abide in the light of the Son we will bring about abundant growth and life (John 10:10; John 15:1ff).

How do we position ourselves and abide in Christ? We must die to ourselves and our desires. But how do we do that?

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.” John 12:24

How will a seed bring forth much fruit if it dies? Before you cry, “the seed does NOT die – the germ is alive!,” I agree with you and so does the Word of God. Let me explain.

If a seed falls to the ground, in good soil, the seed will die to itself and be used to produce the seedling. The germ consumes the body of the seed to produce the new growth. After the seed has been used of it’s own nourishment, it looks to the soil for the rest. If the soil is good, the plant will continue to thrive. However, if the soil is malnourished or hasn’t been broken up, the seedling will not thrive, and will ultimately perish.

Did you know that millennia-old wheat discovered in Egyptian tombs can’t produce a crop? No wonder: it is past the point of vitality – the germ is past the point of being revived.

New believers are like a new, living seed. Unless you are in the ideal conditions, you won’t grow or bear any fruit. You will die like the cached Egyptian wheat. Think of the Germ as the Holy Spirit or Christ in us, and think of the remainder of the seed as our sinful nature, what the Bible calls our flesh. It says:

 

If you live after (or by) the flesh, you shall die: but if you through the Spirit do mortify (cause to die; kill) the deeds of the body, you shall live.

(Romans 8:13)

 

The seed of new life in Christ can’t bear fruit unless we are dying and dead to our old sinful life and the ways of the world. Put another way, we cannot be a new creation with prayers of “My will be done” instead of “Your will, Father, be done!”

This theme is repeated over and again in the Bible:

 

And other [seed] fell on good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; and brought forth, some thirty, and some sixty, and some an hundred. …And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.
(Mark 4:8,20)

 

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
(Matthew 7:17-19)

 

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
(Matthew 12:33)

 

Does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? Either a vine, figs? So can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.  (James 3:11-12)

 

And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn (cut) down, and cast into the fire.
(Matthew 3:10/Luke 3:9)

 

Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. …Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
(John 15:2,4-6)

 

John goes to the heart of the matter:

 

He that saith he abides in Him (Jesus) ought himself also so to walk, even as He (Jesus) walked.
(I John 2:6)

Now, back to the sunflower….

As a sunflower grows, it is always positioning itself under and toward to the sun. For instance, throughout the day, the top of the maturing flower finds and faces the sun. Are you?

If the seed of the Gospel is been planted in the rich soil of true repentance allowing the roots to grow deep, is abiding (basking) in the light of the Son, Lord Jesus, and is being watered by Living Water by the Word, you will bring forth much fruit. You will grow in your faith and walk. You will be perfected and holy, as he commands us to be. But without those conditions, you will do nothing on your own, but to perish.

Can you see that this isn’t an option? This isn’t for the super-spiritual Christian. This is for everyone in Christ, babe and father alike: milk drinkers and carnivores. And why would we want anything less, Saints? Jesus says his yoke is easy and his burden is light! If you are walking in the Spirit, this is not a chore.

Let me ask you a few sobering questions:

Do you profess to be free, but find yourself still chained deep within a dark dungeon? Do you desire to be made free but failure and doubt sit at the doorstep? Do you consider yourself a disciple of Christ?

 

Jesus said, “If you continue in My Word, thenare you my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth, and and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

 

If you don’t have a love and desire for His Word, than something is terribly wrong. Please don’t skim over this point, loved one. I say it again: if you don’t have a hunger and thirst for the Word of God, drop everything and seek the Lord.

As the Apostle Paul warns:

 

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? {that is, imposters; mere professors of faith but of no abiding faith}
(II Corinthians 13:5)

 

Are you thinking, deep in your heart… between you and God alone, that your walk was been a lie? If so, repent and humble yourself before the Lord. It is far better to be honest with yourself now than when you stand before the Lord on that day. Cry out the Lord with godly sorrow and He will save you!

 

For godly sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death.
(II Corinthians 7:10)

Has your walk been growing cold and weary? Repent and humble yourself before the Lord…

 

For the Lord says, “I have heard you in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured [helped] you:” behold, now is the accepted time;behold, now is the day of salvation.
(II Corinthians 6:2)

 

I want to give you great encouragement through a man greatly used of God…

I was reading the Biography of George Müller and toward the end of his life he recalls that he had read through the Bible 200 times (that’s about three times a year; every four months). But what’s more remarkable is that 100 (half) of those times were on his knees in meditation and prayer. He was praying and meditating the Word of God.

 

If you’re not familiar with Brother Müller, the significance is that God answered His prayers – all of them. George believed the Word and lived by God’s Word. He never asked anyone for a single penny to fund the many orphanages that God directed Him to found and manage. No, George was resolved from the beginning to go to God with all his needs. The result? God never let George down. There were tests of faith, but in the small and big things alike, God was faithful.

Do you want such a faithful walk with God?

If you want to walk with God, read His Word! Stop reading books about the Bible, written by men, and read the Bible faithfully. You will be transformed by the living Word of God:

…be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
(Romans 12:2)

The first thing is to stop eating moldy bread. You may not realize it, but you are being conformed daily by some influence: Billboards, radio, TV, magazines, co-workers, family, friends… words and thoughts… the world is screaming at us, but God tells us to be still and listen… “continue in My Word.” Fill up on the Bread of Life. Break bread with the Lord daily!

 

It’s either the prince of this world or the Prince of Peace; the spirit of antichrist or the Holy Spirit. If you are not filling up on God’s Word and pushing out all lies and dirt of the Father of lies, you will be conformed by the world… by simply doing nothing.

Dear Christian, we must press into the Kingdom and take it by force! Don’t let Satan steal it from you. Surrender your will and press into the Father’s will!

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
(James 4:7)

  • Read the Word of God.
  • Speak the Word of God.
  • Sing the Word of God.
  • Pray the Word of God.
  • Internalize the Word of God (memorize it; hide it in your heart).

And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
(Luke 4:4)

We are told that the washing of water by the Word of God sanctifies and cleanses, and is able to present to the Lord a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but holy and without blemish. (Eph 5:26-27)

Dear brother or sister, please understand that none of that is possible without the supernatural, indwelling work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. This is not salvation by works. This call is to stop trying to “do” in our own power, and rather surrender our whole life (to the smallest detail) to the Lord Jesus, letting Him be the Author and Finisher of our faith. Amen?

Beloved, the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe. Are you abiding in the name of the Lord today? Have you built your faith on sand or the Rock? Are you living the way the Lord said those who are redeemed should live, or are you living a lie?

Now is the time to be honest, and repent (turn from all known sin) and surrender your life to the Lord Jesus. The Lord is waiting patiently and all of Heaven will rejoice… return to your first love, dear brother and sister. Love the Lord your God, and offer your body (everything you have) as a living sacrifice to Him!

He has promised us this wonderful promise: “And you shall seek Me, and find Me , when you shall search for Me with all your heart.”
(Jeremiah 29:13)

Seek Him with your WHOLE heart and may God bless you richly with all wisdom and knowledge of Him. Position yourself in the Light of the Sun of Righteousness, and bask in His warmth and nourishment.

 

And if you know of someone in the Church who has festering wounds (bitterness, anger, lust), or is growing cold (apostasy; unbelief), pass this on to those in need of a Physician. Return them to their first love.. Jesus Christ!

Until we see him face-to-face,

Jeff

Jeff Tobler

Author Jeff Tobler

Jeff Tobler is the founder and director of Eternal Promises, joyfully proclaiming that Messiah, Jesus Christ, died for our sins, defeated death, and is now King and Lord over all.

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