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  • Evelyn Collins

"From Forlorn to Flourishing: The Transformative Power of Living a Christ-Centered Life"



Vivid purple flowers on table


If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.                                                                          — (John 15:6 NIV) 


Our prayer team met in a room off the corridor nearest the fellowship hall of our church. Upholstered chairs encircled a wooden table. Several books and a forlorn vase of lilac and ashen flowers sat on the table.

When we adjourned, Joan lifted the pitiful vase before leaving the room. I noticed that the once vibrant golden rose petals were brittle, brown, and falling apart. Someone neglected the flower arrangement until its condition appeared hopeless. I followed her into the adjacent room. There she stopped near the trash to discard the dead roses.

  One by one, she inspected and pulled the dead stems of roses from the vase, but left the vivid purple flowers intact. Removing the dead plants from the vase transformed the bouquet; it was vibrant with new life. A lovely centerpiece of lavender flowers remained.



Brittle brown roses
Photo credits @bapawka/depositphotos

Her action of examining and removing the dead reminded me we need to evaluate ourselves for wrong thoughts and traits. Because we want to be certain that our relationship with Christ is strong, so we humble ourselves before him. He is the centerpiece or foundation of our faith. As we seek his guidance and grow in knowledge, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin within us. Thus, the process of sanctification which reveals qualities displeasing to God begins.

      The Holy Spirit reveals his divine nature. He shows us the way and prunes the damaged and dead portion. This cutting away may be painful, but is necessary. When he cuts off the undesirable, it encourages fresh growth to develop; we grow in righteousness. God, the expert gardener, trims away barren branches, so fresh growth develops overflowing with beautiful blossoms and bountiful good fruit.

    When we pursue a life of obedience to Christ, we allow him to remove any evil within us and things that hinder our spiritual growth. Because we want our words and actions to glorify him. Then what remains is the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, patience (Galatians 5:22). They are essential attributes of Christians.    

   When our focus is on our Lord, we reflect his nature, and others desire a relationship with him. The change in our thoughts and behavior is evidence that the Holy Spirit is transforming us into his image.             

We are beautiful blossoms from God’s garden. Our lives bring joy to others because doing God’s will honors him. We become centerpieces for God when we analyze ourselves to determine if we are in the faith and submit to walk along his path. Our actions as God’s disciples draw others to him.


Colorful flowers border a lush green lawn
Photo credits @weltblick/depositphotos

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect fill. (Romans 12:2, NIV).

 

Prayer

 

Father God, I thank you for the Holy Spirit, who convicts us whenever we fail test and guides us in your way. Bring awareness of how he speaks to us. Open our eyes and ears to perceive your truth. Help us yield to your will so we flourish and your Spirit shines through us.



Your turn

 

Upon self-examination, what godly virtues like wisdom, self-control, and perseverance do you discover?

 

Blessings, Evelyn Collins

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