Colossians 2:6-15 (NRSV)
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.
See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.
-- Colossians 2:8 (NRSV)
AFTER our children became adults and followed their dreams to other places, my wife and I -- with God's help -- were able to secure a small parcel of land in the mountains. We planted pine trees, fruit trees, herbs, various flowers, and other plants on the land.
My wife works in the garden a few days a week and seems to be constantly pulling up weeds. The amount of weeds that continues to grow is amazing. However, I noticed that some of the weeds are also lovely. They have pretty leaves or blooms, and I think it's a shame to pull them up. But my wife is adamant, and with good reason: The weeds could choke out what we have planted.
How much more careful we should be to nurture the good that is planted in us by the word of God! Knowing the Bible is crucial if we are to combat the weeds of bitterness, hostility, jealousy, and unclean thoughts -- as well as the lovely weeds of sentimentalism or unhealthy or excessive attachments. These weeds may appear innocent, but they can impede the growth and maturing of true love, which is the fruit of the Spirit. (See Gal. 5:22-26.)
Prayer: Lord, give us the wisdom and strength to remove anything that will impede our growing in your love. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
We weed the garden so more fruit can grow.
Retirees moving to new settings
By Nicolas Tarasov (Caracas, Venezuela)