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Our New Year's Message: Let It Burn!

1 Peter 4:12 – “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.”

We were trying very hard to get this blog out in November, but things get so busy around here sometimes, you just have no control. But here it is. Happy New Year!

It truly amazes me how weeds take over. Every day when we go into the garden we have to ask ourselves “didn’t we weed this yesterday?”

It doesn’t take a lawn care professional to tell you that weeds are detrimental to your garden. Not only are they an eyesore, but they also negatively impact the overall health of your garden. While some weeds aren’t harmful, others are extremely aggressive and destructive. If control measures are not taken, certain species can overtake an entire garden in a very short period of time. There are also certain weeds that can be harmful if consumed by pets and/or children.

When weeds invade your garden, they compete with healthy, desirable vegetables for air, water, and nutrients. When fertilizer is applied, for example, weeds are often quickest to soak up the nutrients that would otherwise fuel your garden’s growth. This results in the weakening of vegetable plants, making your plants more prone to other issues, such as disease, insect infestation, and drought. Weeds also compete for space – spreading quickly and ultimately taking over what was once a beautiful garden bed.

This is what happened to our strawberry bed. No matter how hard we tried to keep the weeds out they would come back stronger than ever. After a while you could hardly see the strawberries. The amazing thing is, the weeds almost looked like the strawberry plant. Not only that, it wrapped its roots around the strawberries’ roots. So, if you pulled a weed, you would pull a strawberry plant with it. We were not sure how to fix this problem. After examining the situation, we came to the conclusion that there was only one thing to do, and that was to take everything out of the garden bed, the weeds and the strawberries, then clean the soil. And the best way to clean the soil? Burn it!

That’s right burn it! By burning the soil it purifies it. This took time, because, before burning it, we had to dig out as many of the weed pods as we could find, and carefully separate the strawberry plants so that their roots were not damaged, then transplant them into a newly prepared bed.

We were able to fix the problem. We gave the strawberries a new home, and the old bed was now a new bed ready for a new crop.

This makes me think of how God will cleanse the earth. It will burn, purified by God’s unveiled glory, a “consuming fire.” Ellen G. White tells us in The Great Controversy, p. 662-673,

“Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup.” Psalm 11:6. Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. (See Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10.) The earth’s surface seems one molten mass—a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men—“the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.” Isaiah 34:8, KJV.

The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. Proverbs 11:31. They “‘will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:1. . . . All are punished “according to their deeds.” Jeremiah 25:14. . . . In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch—Satan the root, his followers the branches (weed). The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah. . . .

Now God’s creatures are forever delivered from his presence and temptations. “The whole earth is at rest and quiet: they [the righteous] break forth into singing.” Isaiah 14:7. And a shout of praise and triumph ascends from the whole loyal universe. “The voice of a great multitude,” “as the sound of many waters, and as the sound of mighty thunderings,” is heard, saying: “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” Revelation 19:6.

But, before we can be transplanted into our “new bed,” our new environment—the new earth, we must individually allow the Holy Spirit to do its work of removing the weeds of sin in our lives, and purifying us, yes, even as if by fire. We urge you, today, and in the coming days, to allow God (invite Him!) to do the work that must be done in you that you may bear fruit unto salvation.

In the New Year (2022)...

“May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.” – Philippians 1:11 (NLT)

And when trials comes, as they will...

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” – 1 Peter 4:12–13

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