Monday, May 25, 2009

A garden, not a factory

From “Why Grace Changes Everything” by Chuck Smith:

“Have you ever considered the vast difference between “works” and “fruit”? “Works” suggests a factory complete with pressures, deadlines, and the constant need to produce. But “fruit” pictures a peaceful, tranquil garden, a place where we are inclined to stay and drink in the beauty while we enjoy each other’s company.

“It’s important to realize that God doesn’t come to His factory looking for products. He comes to His garden to enjoy its fruit. The gospel of grace invites us to leave behind the smog and pressure of a factory-like life of works and instead bear the fruit that God desires to see in the garden of our lives.”

He goes on to cite passages such as Gal 3:2-5 and Rom 14:4. He later expounds that we aren’t to force ourselves to “do” things for God, but rather look to Him and let these things come. And a lot of that will be things that are natural for us. For instance, we aren’t all to force ourselves to be street evangelists, etc., if that isn’t our gifting. He gives Jeremiah (20:9) as an example of how we can’t even keep back the fruit when it is within us. Good reminder that God creates us individually, not in a “Christian mold”, and we aren’t to try to duplicate one another (1 Cor 12:12). Good stuff.

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