Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Considering the Lily: Propagation

"Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; but I tell you, not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the  grass in the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, how much more will He clothe you? You men of little faith!                                            (Luke 12:27-28 NASB)

Jesus instructed his disciples to "consider the lilies". Yesterday we began our consideration of lilies with a look at the roots of lilies. Today, we look at lily propagation. According to lilies.org, if lilies are giving routine care, (adequate water in a bed with adequate drainage, protection from freezing, mulch in the winter, and a little fertilizer from time to time), "they will divide regularly." Lilies don't have to be forced to reproduce. They do it naturally. 

Stem bulblets form naturally every year around the underground portion of the stem. These little bulblets can be removed, along with their roots, and planted to grow additional lilies. It is the natural function of a lily to reproduce in this way. While the bulblet is forming, it remains connected to the stem until it has developed enough of a root system to survive as a separate plant. Once the bulblet is removed, planted, and established in its new location, it will not only flower but begin to bear bulblets.

In that same way, the job of disciples is to train other disciples. We should be nurturing a disciple or two as we go along. As those disciples mature, they should begin to train other disciples. Done correctly, the body of Christ will be constantly reproducing itself, constantly training, constantly growing and developing stronger roots. If we reproduce as we should, new believers will become disciples, develop strong roots, and grow to maturity. Because of the strong roots developed while being nurtured, young believers will have less risk of withering and falling away.  

Let's consider the reproduction of lilies and compare it to our own lives. Are we faithfully growing disciples? Are we reproducing in such a way that the body of Christ grows and becomes stronger? The last instruction Jesus gave was to make disciples and that's what we need to be doing. 
Our Father, give us strong roots that we might grow and bear fruit for you. Help us to not only be disciples but also become disciple makers, helping others grow to be more like You. In Jesus' name, Amen.