James 1:21: “Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.”
I am forever thankful for the time I spent in the garden growing up and when we lived in Chappell. I remember the first garden I helped my dad put in. I wanted to plant mini pumpkins and gourds to sell. We went out to our garden and I started digging holes and putting seeds in the ground and dad yelled from the deck, STOP! We have to pull the weeds and get the ground ready first. I wanted to jump right in. Similarly, in Chappell, we let the weeds get out control one year and it stunted the growth of our tomatoes and peppers. We had to carefully pull the weeds out and not damage the plants.
Gardening is the imagery used in this verse
GET RID OF-“take off, divest of garment”
ALL-God is not satisfied with partial purity, partial goodness, partial righteousness.
MORAL FILTH AND THE EVIL-Eliminate sins and vices that destroy you and your witness for Christ! When you become a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit takes up residence within you. The Holy Spirit is God and therefore perfect, incapable of being in the presence of anything filthy or unclean. This is why you feel bad (we call it conviction) when you violate God’s Word or character. The Holy Spirit doesn’t want you to be a part of any moral filth or evil.
Once we have worked with God to pull up the weeds, the soil is prepared! Now we get to plant.
AND HUMBLY ACCEPT-Simply receive and say, “Thank you Lord!”
THE WORD-This is the Word of God. The Bible. This word produces life inside of us, it nourishes and sustains us. I know that may sound weird to someone who isn’t a Christian, and it is hard to explain, but it is still true. The Bible helps deliver you from the insanity of your old life
PLANTED IN YOU-The ground is incapable of planting seed on its own, it needs the farmer or gardener. Jesus used this imagery a lot and was even confused for a gardener after his resurrection. The moment Christ takes possession of your life, you receive the seed, now it needs to be cultivated and given a chance to grow.
WHICH CAN SAVE YOU (Save your souls…)-Since this is addressed to believers (v. 19), this is being saved from unclean practices and sinful effects in this life, snares, pitfalls, bondage, darkness, damage (not damnation); Salvation is just the beginning of the Christian life, there will be trials, temptations, and the Word planted in you can save you from the negative effects of both, if we ask for wisdom (v. 5), and listen to the WORD!
This verse promises that where there is life, there will be growth.
Some things to consider:
-What are some weeds that are choking out the Word of God in your life?
-How are you letting the Lord plant the Word in you? Are you fertile soil?