Recently, I think it was in answer to a question, my husband said, “Work is fruit.” We often think of the fruit as the result of our work rather than the work itself. We think the fruit is the harvest, not the plowing and the planting. So bend your mind around this with me.
When we are made new in Christ, we realize our redemptive and creation purpose, which is to do good works. Look at Titus 2:14: “Who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” He saves us from our bad works and sets us doing, eagerly doing, good works. That’s death and resurrection in a nutshell!
We work out what He works in (Phil. 2:13). We do not work in order to gain our salvation or to gain God’s good opinion of us. His good opinion is freely bestowed on us in Christ, while we were still sinners (Rom. 5:8). But having received grace and forgiveness, we are made to be diligent and fruitful, and both the work and the fruit are gifts from God.
For me, this means I can look at my day and the work I have to do in it with a different attitude. Zealous for it. Eager to get started, eyes open. Good works are not drudgery, not monotonous, not menial if I see them as fruit. What kind of works does God have for us? His ideas include those of the worthy widow in 1Timothy 5:10: “”if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.”
These are broad categories that include millions of opportunities and details. Hospitality. Child-rearing. Homemaking. Service to the saints. Reaching out to those who are hurting. And everything else. This gives us tremendous scope for understanding what we were redeemed to do. And now we have been made to be eager to get to work. We are His own special people, chomping at the bit for the good works He has laid out for us each day (Eph. 2:10). Each one is a gift, an opportunity, a sign that we have been made new and that we belong to Him.
This means we are to be outward focused with our eyes peeled for the good works that are waiting for us each day. Look at all the good works God has specially made for you. Be zealous to do them. Not because you have to. Not because you’ll feel guilty or look bad if you don’t. But because you are redeemed and purified, ready for fruit.