Tonight I picked a few cucumbers out of our whiskey barrel garden. We have some really good soil in them and they just had 2 days of rain water. They were so fresh compared to what store bought vegetables taste like.
I love watching them grow, seeing how they get bigger everyday. Of course, I'm going to some place spiritual with this. =)
The plant itself and the branches on it just sit there. The branches are just resting in the vine and fruit miraculously starts appearing and growing bigger and bigger day to day. Mom was telling me tonight that the more fruit we pick, the more will grow. I was reminded of Jesus' saying that the Father prunes those who are bearing fruit, so that they will bear more fruit. Our fruit is to be satisfying and tasteful to God. It is suppose to be natural, flowing from His power in us. We are these beings that He has created so that He can express His beauty...His life in us. All we need do is remain in Him, rest in Him, trust in Him. The branches, I've noticed don't do a lot of moving, they just do a lot of being. They just remain on the vine and the fruit naturally shows up.
We tend to snap a whip at people in the Church today. Believe in Jesus and bear fruit! Doesn't trusting in Jesus cover it? What need is there in commanding people to focus on bearing fruit, when it comes naturally? Are we so insecure of the power in the gospel, that we beat it in the heads of people that they must believe AND bear fruit. I thought believing connected you to the one who produces the fruit? Jesus never said we produce fruit, He said we abide in Him and we bear it. We do not produce fruit, He does.
What need is there in emphasizing the point of good behavior if it comes naturally? Why do we even mention it with the gospel? You can't add it to the gospel, or else you make it grace and works. Simply tell people to trust in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved and let Jesus produce the fruit and they will bear it. We shouldn't be so cynical of someone who hasn't been completely transformed in a "salvation experience"...Whatever that means.
Edit: I have this side of me that likes to challenge people. Grace is one of those things that make people uneasy, and I've learned to let myself drown in it. So now I like showering it on people, with the hopes of God changing peoples lives through the gospel. There is also that side of me that wants to challenge the majority of Christians today who love to end the controversy and say we need balance. Grace isn't one of those things you can balance. You need it like you need air if you want a functioning relationship with an infinitely holy God. So no one speak balance to me, because I will continue to throw grace around carelessly like million dollar bills. I want to give it to the ugliest, most sinful people you can imagine. The people who really make me and every other Christian sick just by their presence. Those are the people I want to dump buckets of million dollar grace bills on.