Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 5 May 2015
Page 11

Like Flowers in a Garden

Royce Pendergrass

Royce PendergrassMany of God’s gifts are like wild flowers. We can take some flowers out of a field and enjoy their beauty in other places.

Many other gifts from God are like flowers in a special garden. The owners invite us into their garden to enjoy an abundance of rare and glorious flowers. However, they do not let us take any of these flowers away. As long as we are in the garden, we can enjoy the beauty of all the flowers. Consider God’s free gift of eternal Life.

Some people have reasoned this way. “After a person has received eternal life, he cannot lose it. If a person could lose eternal life, it was not really eternal.” That statement contains a mistake about location.

Eternal life is always located in one place – in Christ. Before God made our temporary world, before time began, He prepared eternal gifts for all who would choose to love Him and come to Him. He put His gifts of saving grace and eternal life in Christ. He ”…has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…” (2 Timothy 1:9; Ephesians 1:3).

The Holy Spirit tells us how to enter “into Christ.” When we are in Christ, we have eternal life now, because we are in the location where God placed eternal life (Romans 6:3-4; 8:1; Galatians 3:26-27; see Acts 2:38; 8:36-38; 22:16; 1 John 5:11, 20).

A saved person can choose to leave Christ, but he cannot take the gift of eternal life away with him. If a saved person goes away from Christ, he leaves the location of eternal life. We cannot take that present away from His presence. “If any one does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered…” (John 15:6; see Revelation 3:16; 1 Corinthians 9:27; Hebrews 3:12).

Like beautiful flowers in a garden, God’s greatest gifts are in Christ. Come to Him, or return to Him, and “…abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” What a joy it will be to see Christ “and be found in Him” (1 John 2:28; Philippians 3:9)!


The Florist’s Flower

David A. Sargent

David A. SargentOne of the most well-known events in the year 1912 was the sinking of the luxury liner, Titanic, on April 15th. Another significant event occurred a week later on April 23, 1912: a little girl was born to Mattie and Freddie Hicks of Coffeeville, AL. They named her “Virgie Mae.” Her birth did not make national headlines, but she was a “treasure” to all who knew and loved her. And, little did anyone know but this little girl would live to see her 100th birthday!

Can you imagine the changes that Ms. Virgie Mae witnessed in her lifetime? In addition to the incredible changes in technology and transportation, she went through many transitions in her own life. Born and raised in the small town of Coffeeville, Virgie moved to the city of Mobile, AL, and began working as a seamstress at a clothing mill. In 1942, she married Claude Ravier. They later had one child, Linda. During most of her married life Virgie helped her husband in his business, Ravier Brothers Florists. Claude died in 1983, and several years later she went to live with Linda and her husband, Joe. In the last few years, her health declined more and more until she died peacefully in her home on October 20, 2012, six months after her 100th birthday.

Some refer to the “seasons” of a person’s life. Perhaps one could summarize Ms. Virgie Mae’s life that way:

In the winter of her life, I once asked Ms. Virgie Mae to identify her favorite flower. I had been told that she loved working with all kinds of fresh flowers when she worked as a florist. She told me that her favorite flower is the rose.

Amanda McBroom wrote a song entitled, “The Rose,” made famous by Bette Midler. That song contains the following words:

“Just remember in the winter

Far beneath the bitter snows

Lies the seed that with the sun’s love

In the spring becomes the rose.”

If her decline and death was the Winter of Ms. Virgie Mae’s life, please know that spring is coming. It will occur when Jesus comes again (1 Corinthians 15; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Jesus said, “Do not marvel at this… for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation” (John 5:28-29).

The difference in that day for each person hinges on if one has allowed Jesus to take care of his or her sin problem. Sin condemns (Matthew 7:13-14; Romans 6:23). However, God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins (John 3:16). Those who accept His offer of salvation will receive the gift of eternal life – an eternal spring in the paradise of God! The seed of life that will grow in God will forgive and provide eternal life to those who place their faith in Him (Acts 16:30-31), turn from sin in repentance (Acts 17:30-31), confess Him before men (Romans 10:9-10) and are baptized (immersed) into Christ for the forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38). In loving memory of Ms. Virgie Mae Ravier, may this sweet florist’s life and her favorite flower – the rose – remind us all that for the faithful child of God, after the winter of one’s life, with the “son’s” love, we will one day bloom anew in an eternal spring when Jesus comes again. Won’t you accept God’s offer of salvation and life?


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