Two barrels are outside a local coffee shop.
But one is green and thriving and the other is dead and brown.
The barrel that holds the dead plants is cracked and dried. It can't keep in the water because the soil inside this barrel was also cracked and dried. And the soil can't retain the water because the barrel is cracked and dried. It is a self-perpetuating cycle. The opposite was true of the happy, lush barrel. As Christ taught: "For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him." -- Matthew 13:12
Those who soak in the truth of His word are spiritually nourished and prepared for more truth. Thus, they grow and flourish -- like the living barrel. But those who reject God's truth become spiritually dry and ill-prepared for the truth. They become increasingly calloused to Christ and cannot respond to the living water they are receiving.
Every person who turns to God in repentance receives salvation through Christ is a walking, breathing miracle because we all used to be brown and it takes a miracle to make us green. The brown happens naturally -- the green only supernaturally. This is one of the reasons the writer of Hebrews tells us so strongly that we must be in physical fellowship with Christ's church. If we aren't, we are in danger of becoming unbelieving, hardened and deceived by sin (i.e. brown), and unable to respond to the presence and the voice of the Lord (Hebrews 3:12-15).
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.