Weak Branches and a Loving Gardener

Good words from Doug Wilson:

“Gracious saints work hard; indeed, they work harder than anybody. But they do not trust in their works at all — they trust in the grace that God has given.

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12-13).

God works it in, and we work it out. The gracious Christian does not refuse to work. He works all right. He just doesn’t try to work it in.”

This is what Jesus meant when He said that he is the vine, we are the branches, and His Father is the gardener. We produce good fruit not because we work hard, but because we have a loving gardener, who knows how to grow good fruit. And what does a gardener do to that end? He provides. Specifically, he provides what his garden cannot produce for itself. Nutrients, tending, care, and protection, all the way to actual fruit.

This means that Jesus knows your deficiencies, better yet expects your deficiencies, and is happy to provide for them. Our gardener is loving-He sees our need, and it does not repulse Him. Our gardener is skilled-He sees our need, and He will not leave us that way. You will change. Not because you will learn better techniques or drum up more motivation, but because Jesus will not leave you alone.

Some of us need to hear this, and get to work. Some of us need to hear this, and take a nap. Jesus seemed to think both were important. So rest, work, play, and live in the knowledge that Jesus sees you, loves you, and will not give up on you. You are His branch, and your growth is in His capable hands. Your part in your growth is to trust Him with it.

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