OUR FATHER'S PERSISTENT LOVE MINISTRIES, INC.



"An Inside Perspective"

September 2016



My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!

I have learned much about gardening through trial and error, and I gladly stress the error! Some things are well learned by mistake, while others through sustained observation. Seasons have become my horticultural teachers as I watch the Lord intermingle the grace of life with the brutality of death to one end – His glory in creation. As such, through the mulching process, the death of one plant brings health to another.

As I may have voiced in seasons past, one of my pet idiosyncrasies is my grass. You may indeed ascertain the degree of my obsession by the simple fact that I call it “my grass,” which clearly it is not. If the truth be told, it is the Lord’s grass, which by grace He has permitted me, if not called me to tend for Him. In a lesser sense, it is simply State grass. Nevertheless, I take my stewardship over it very serious, perhaps to the point of a fetish. Every year I labor to get “my grass” to match the vision I have for it in my head. I have been at it for 10 years now, and I am nowhere near the vision; yet, I “press toward the mark.”

The discipline of gardening has also taught me many things through the combination of hard work and observation. By way of example, there are many varieties of grass, as we well know. My most blessed discovery has been the zoysia type of which I discovered quite unwittingly. Years ago, I was maliciously ordered to dig it up from one area and move it to another. That is right, I had to dig it up and move it. I believe I shared that grievous dilemma with you in writings past and the lessons gleaned. Sovereignly though, in the moving of it, I learned of zoysia’s virtues.

She (if I may personify) is a unique grass that creeps slowly, yet incessantly, underground toward her desired end. She has an intensely tight root system, leaving no room for usurping weeds and is herself a conqueror by nature. Left to herself, she slowly inches into, conquers, and dominates all other grasses, weeds, etc. Whatever gets in her way will eventually submit. If a weed should try to even think of rearing its ugly head, it is immediately choked out and brought to naught. On the surface, she is beautiful to behold, displaying an incomparably luxuriant rich green hue through all growing seasons. I am radically desirous that all my areas should know the fullness of her beauty. My only beef is that she “seems” to grow so slowly that I often think, “I will be home by then!”

It is written, “Be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be ye filled with the Spirit; speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.” (Eph. 5:18-21)

As the people of God, there is only one way in this fallen world to live a humble, consistent, victorious, God-glorifying life. The Lord’s edict is “. . .be ye filled with the Spirit!” When we are filled with the Spirit of God, we will see God-glorifying results in every area of our walk. Definite, particular fruit grows from the fullness of the Spirit in us causing worship to flow like a river from our hearts, even as the fruit of our lips glorifies God.

Sovereignly, the Lord can even use zoysia grass to teach us the virtues of the Holy Spirit. He is uniquely – God in us. Inwardly, He creeps slowly, yet incessantly, toward His desired end – God’s eternal glory through us. He also has an intensely tight root system, leaving no room for usurping sins and is Himself a conqueror by nature. In His fullness, the Spirit slowly inches into, conquers, and dominates all areas of our walk.

Whatever contends with Him will eventually submit. When we are full of the Holy Spirit, sin will not even think of rearing its ugly head because it will immediately be choked out and brought to naught. More so, on the surface His fruits are beautiful to behold, displaying an incomparably luxuriant rich green hue of a walk through all the seasons of our lives.

I have learned so much about our Christian walks through trial and error, and I gladly stress the error! We do have seasons in our walks, and we are taught spiritual lessons through them. The Lord intermingles the grace of life with the brutality of sin to cause our growth in Christ.

As such, the spiritual mulching of one bad habit brings health unto a good one. Every year we should labor through hard work and observation to get “our walks” to match the vision given us in the Book. I have been at it for 25 years now, and I am nowhere near the vision; yet, I “press toward the mark.”

Beloved, we should be radically desirous that in every area of our Christian walk we would know the fullness of His beauty. Our only beef is that He “seems” to grow us so slowly that we often think, . . .

“I WILL BE IN HEAVEN BY THEN!”

JOYFULLY IN JESUS
LOVE, PHILIP

“REMEMBER THOSE IN PRISON AS IF CHAINED TO THEM”