Work is Fruit

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.

 

I’m not selling it.

Disclaimer: this post may bore you to death. Or it could save your life. It’s hard to say. It’s about the very mundane details of breakfast. So if the mundane details of breakfast are killing you like they were me, then this is for you!

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Breakfast is a crazy time in our house, and while we have tried all kinds of different things, we had settled into oatmeal most mornings. While my kids love cereal, it isn’t really a great choice. It makes me think of when I passed out in the bathroom at school, and it is certainly not a cost effective choice when you have a pile of children who can eat. So oatmeal was our game. Old fashioned oats from Costco. And it worked. It was fine. Whatever. Sometimes we burned it while I was doing hair away from the stove. Sometimes we didn’t want to clean out the burned oatmeal pan. I tried a crock pot oatmeal thing but we didn’t like it, as it was super gluey and weird. Continue reading ‘I’m not selling it.’

My Testimony

IMG_5280(I was asked to give my testimony at our monthly Ladies Fellowship meeting.)

In the sense that we have come to think of testimonies, I do not have one. I can honestly say that I do not remember a time when I did not know God.

I do remember when I actually prayed with my mom – I was lying in bed in my little pink bedroom that was in our tiny blue house right here in Moscow. I was afraid of the dark and she told me not to be afraid because God was everywhere. I said He was in my heart too, and she said no He wasn’t, and I prayed on the spot. I was three when that happened – but I am fairly certain that I already loved the Lord and that was just when I made it “official.”  Continue reading ‘My Testimony’

Time for a Falling Out

James tells us not to be on friendly terms with the world: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (4:4). It is as though he is saying, “Don’t you get this?  Don’t you know this yet?” He goes on to finish the verse: “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

He is not being very diplomatic here. He is not trying to strike a bargain between God and the world so that we can be chummy with the world and still be on good terms with God. It’s all or nothing. We have to think of this as a war. The world is the enemy. If we are consorting with the enemy and wearing its uniform, then God is against us. If we are friends with God and wearing His uniform, the world is against us. Which way do we want it?

The Apostle John tells us the same thing: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

So here we are living in the world, which is just where God wants us, and the world’s apostles and evangelists are forever preaching and pushing their agenda on us. Are we listening to them? Are we a captive audience? Are we being “conformed to this world” or are we being “transformed by the renewing” of our mind (Rom. 12.2)?

How do we become conformed to this world? It comes of listening to the world and Continue reading ‘Time for a Falling Out’

Fight for Us

Painted in WaterlogueWhen we are suffering in a difficult situation, or working through a trial, or tempted by a besetting sin, one of the first things that we think is how alone we feel. We feel alone because we are the only person we know who is struggling with depression. We feel lonely because we don’t see other people dealing with chronic illness. We feel lonely because we want people to be right beside us as we work through something. And the easiest thing in the world is to blame the rest of the church for not knowing. For not understanding how we feel. For not struggling the same struggle with us. For saying things that were unfeeling. Do they not love us? Continue reading ‘Fight for Us’

School’s Open!

 

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