Love Like Blackberries

Everything is green in Washington, granted their annual rainfall is almost 35 inches! Coming from Southern California it is almost like seeing things for the first time. Things are green and grow in plenty. One of those plants that grows in plenty is the blackberry. It is more of a nuisance than anything because it is everywhere and It grows like a weed here.

In the back of our property there are some blackberry bushes that have crept in and before we moved in were taken care of. They were cut down and even sprayed. As I went around the property they have grown back and if not taken care of will again become overbearing.

Though I am painting the negative of blackberries, I am wanting to highlight in the positive how this is connected to love. The Apostle Paul prayed for the church in Philippi that their love would would abound more and more (Phil 1:9).

Our Love Grows

Like blackberries which can grow quite crazy as a believer we should desire for our love grow as well. How does this happen? First, Pau’s prayer was that the church’s love would grow more for Jesus and others.

In another letter to a different church he prays, “so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:17-19 ESV).

Paul’s prayer was that was one contemplates and experiences the love of Christ which we can never fully fathom yet we would grow in it. To put it another way, the more I bask in the love of Christ the more I grow in the love of Christ. I will never fully comprehend on this side of eternity but I can grow in understanding day by day.

As our love grows in reflection of Jesus Christ’s love we then can grow in our love towards others. Pastor and author Steven Lawsons said, “The greatest petition we can bring before God on behalf of other Christians is that they would deepen in their love for him and for others…Where the love of the brethren grows, the church is most like heaven and becomes attractive to the world.”

Full But Never Full

I am filled with the love of Christ as that was poured out through his perfect and sinless life, his sacrificial death, and his glorious resurrection. Though I am filled I am never full because I am daily being filled and filled again of his love.

Paul was pointing out to this fact as he prayed for the church’s love to abound more and more. They are filled but never full as they experience and know Christ’s love each day. As blackberries grow and it seems like nothing can stop them, may our love which is founded in Christ continue to grow despite opposition or hardships.

One Reply to “Love Like Blackberries”

  1. Thank you so much for your blog posts, and for your October family update. I am so sorry that you lost your furbaby; it is very hard because they are a much loved member of the family. I have 90 pound German shepherd that is 13; has arthritis like me and is such a great dog – never sure which one of us is going first; but in case I do, my children will take her – or in case of the rapture, my neighbor said he will come over and let her out. (working on his salvation, but he is very stubborn and a hermit – at least he talks to me, so that is a plus)!

    Anyway, yes, blackberries will take over and it seems that they come back no matter what you do. I always thought they were irritating (like the sin that so easily besets us); but I like your version better – that they are like the love of Jesus that keeps on being poured out on us and that we should be like blackberry vines and love others (especially the unsaved) with the love of Jesus – constantly, no matter how they might resent our witnessing. (Not being pushy, but loving them – something that is hard to do for me, I just never know when to shut up).

    I am keeping you and your beautiful family in my prayers, also that the weather won’t be totally miserable for you – it is tough enough to move away from family and friends, but all the rain is sometimes depressing at first.

    I have a 10-year old grandson and a 12-year old granddaughter – both are born again Christians, who used to attend a Rome; but their step-mother has decided that they can’t come to church and tells their dad that they misbehaved – so they need to stay home. I am asking for prayer that my son will see through that and be the leader he should be in the family. Thank you so much for being our Pastor and I love your family.

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