"The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing."
There is much talk about the greenhouse effect in our nation today referring to carbon build up. However, God's Word speaks of a greenhouse effect that exists in His Kingdom. A greenhouse is a place that someone has purposely designed to create the best environment possible in order for plants to flourish. The Bible speaks of building a place for the Lord's own to flourish. If parents were to ask me for advice on raising their young children I would ask them to meet me at the local greenhouse. I would point out how someone with wisdom had created the best possible environment to nurture young plants to maturity. How they created the perfect climate, controlled the nourishment, protected the tender plants from harmful chemicals and predators and watched over the whole process to insure the best outcome for the plants. I would advise them to go home and do in your home exactly what you see in the greenhouse. It doesn't really matter how good the seed is if the environment is destructive. Creating an environment that is conducive to our well being is priority number one of we want to "flourish in the courts of our God". This applies to our own souls, our families and our church family. Even the greatest saint will wilt and die in an unfavorable environment. The human soul simply was not made to thrive in a harsh environment. Our souls flourish in an environment of worship, encouragement, hope, good news (think God's Word), fellowship and peace. What kind of environment are you trying to grow in today? Our homes must be built into places that nourish the young souls of our children into mighty "cedars of Lebanon", strong and able to withstand the winds of adversity. We must create a culture in our fellowship that feeds and nourishes hearts that are being formed into the image of Jesus. Atmosphere is everything. When you consider the current atmosphere that our culture has created, is it any wonder that we are producing the "stunted" individuals that we are today? I can't control society, but I can control the atmosphere that my soul grows in. I have built a "greenhouse effect" of life that I live and flourish in. As long as I control my surroundings according to His Word I can plan on "still bearing fruit in old age"! I can build a climate in my home that is great for growing a healthy and prosperous family. At Grace Christian Academy the "greenhouse effect" is exactly what we are wanting to accomplish so that we can help parents turn out kids that "flourish like a palm tree" in their future lives. My dear friend Mickey Evans who founded and led Dunklin recovery center for addicts said that he was simply creating an atmosphere where men could hear the voice of God and be transformed by that voice. Do you want to "flourish" rather that wilt and die? Create and atmosphere around you and your family that will allow the "good seed" that God has planted in you to prosper and flourish. The Bible states in First Corinthians that we are "God's garden". Lets tend it so that it can "still bear fruit all the way to old age".
Father, you have planted the Seed of your Spirit in my heart. Teach me how to nourish that Seed in an atmosphere that will let Jesus grow big in me!