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.
8 thoughts on “Work is Fruit”
Enjoyed reading this! I find great fulfillment in giving to others of my time and energy, and I believe that because I am doing what God has designed for me. He gives more grace as the burdens grow greater, too. . . . One other point: my parents are a wonderful example–living their lives for others–and that has made it so much easier to do so myself, even as a mother of four small children. Parents, don’t underestimate the power of your example!
Thank you for the helpful perspective on work. It’s too easy to be motivated by guilt rather than joy and purpose.
I have four small children too & love to splash the love, joy & life that Jesus has given us on others! It is so awesome to grab hold of the good works & do them! Just into it! I really appreciate this message as some of these good works dont look like much. Unglamouras, and sometimes the beneficiery is plain ungrateful! ‘Not this again!’, ‘But I dont need to’, ‘Im tired of learning to read’. This encourages me to push into the tougher exercises…with joy! Thanks & bless yas!
God’s grace is always there for the work He has called us to do. In him we can do all things … through Him who strengthens us; yet on our own or for our own sake, our efforts can be tiring and futile! May we be encouraged to be faithful workers in and for His Kingdom!
Wow. I feel like this could be one of those things you read that will stay in your head the rest of your life. I just glanced the post over, without really chewing on it, and then found myself remembering it over and over again throughout the work of the day.
Me too, Rita! It’s been echoing in my mind as I start the day with my kids. It’s helped turn around my thoughts from “oh drudgery…more dishes or laundry or diapers or whatever” to “No, dive in! I am redeemed! God has laid this opportunity in front of me and it is a gift. I want that fruit!”
Thank you for this bit of wisdom. How different the “work” looks with a redeemed perspective! This was a very timely read for me, thank you again!
Wonderfully refreshing reminder of what we are doing, at the heart of the matter. Thank you for the encouragement, I pray your soul is encouraged as you have encouraged mine this day. God bless and keep you near Him!