Friday, January 28, 2011

Good Works

“Good works are simply fruit falling off a tree. If you sink your roots deep in Christ, who is your life, you not be able to stop the fruit from coming forth.” Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola The Jesus Manifesto

Trees never eat their own fruit. The fruit is simply the visible proof that the tree has internally found its natural source of food and satisfaction. The tree will not eat its fruit because it is already well fed. Farmers focus on the well-being of the tree and they confidently wait for the fruit to appear. Visible fruit means the internal system is work is working.

Near the end of His ministry Jesus cursed a tree because it had no fruit. That tree represented the people of God in Israel who had not cooperated with God’s perfect care and provision. They were cursed because they existed to bear the fruit of God’s care and provision and they were useless as a plant without bearing fruit. Their failure was without excuse.

Christ in us, who is our life, provides for every believer the exact care and provision for the fruit of the Spirit to emerge naturally from our lives. Instead of cooperating with the perfect, inner presence of Jesus, we insist on trying to bear our own fruit. We try. That is our problem. Trying is not our job. Our job is to believe. Believing that this fruit will come from God through Christ in us is our work.

“Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’” John 6: 28-29

Human wisdom puts great faith in trying. God’s wisdom says we should rest and receive from Jesus in us by His Spirit.

If you are in the habit of really trying hard to be a good Christian, stop immediately. Instead, rest in Jesus, receive from Jesus and rejoice in Jesus. When you do, the fruit will come.

Receiving directly from Jesus in us is the source of all fruit God will claim as His.

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