The pumpkin patch was nearly ready for harvesting. One pumpkin was very shiny and perfect all the way around. He looked at the pumpkin next to him and the odd blisters on his one side and the many imperfections. “How can you believe you are a real pumpkin?” the shiny and perfect one asked with seeming disdain. Without hesitation, the imperfect pumpkin explained, “I’m attached to the vine that gives life and I have life-giving seeds inside of me.”
Both pumpkins could be carved and candles lit inside of them. Both were in a pumpkin patch! Both look ‘real’ from a distance. Only one could produce seeds to roast and fruit for pie-making. Both have a pumpkin ‘tag’ on them at the store where they are sold. Only one is truly a living fruit. Only one came from a living seed.
Our Creator is the only one who can put ‘real’ substance inside of us. There’s only One Source that brings a life of freedom to grow and not be perfect. The only seed that gives eternal life is Jesus, the one and only Son of God.
Knowing the real Jesus is amazing. He is kind and compassionate and pursues us with such love. He wants what is best for us and is a relational God. He hurts with us when earthly choices affect our lives in painful ways. But following Him is a choice. He gave humans free will to choose Him or not. He didn’t create robots that have no decision-making ability.
Life that is connected to an all-powerful, ever-present God is truly a wonderful gift.
I realize more and more that being ‘real’ has high value to God. Being a real Christian is acknowledging we are a follower of Jesus and is not popular in our culture.
Many wear Christian ‘tags’ and look similar in values. Tough question is, are we attached to a life-giving Source and have seeds of Christ’s nature growing within us? Our god cannot be one that’s made up by human crafting, one that isn’t truly God in divine nature. If our ‘Christ’ wasn’t born of a virgin and has some sort of human, fleshly father that isn’t an omnipotent God, our Christ is purely a religious figure and probably one of many.
It’s religion vs. relationship. It’s philosophy vs. revelation. It’s knowing that Jesus’ death and resurrection was enough and I can never earn my way to eternal life with deeds or works.
It’s important to believe the truth of the Bible and to believe that it alone is the inspired Word of God.
When we follow religious rules and try to be good enough, it’s like slapping Jesus in the face and saying, “What you did on the cross wasn’t enough.”
We can never be good enough. Grace is a gift. It’s God’s great gift that we don’t earn or merit.
Our response to the life He gave us, is to live with goodness out of a heart of gratitude. But it’s a response that comes from recognizing God is truly living and active and powerful, not an ‘earning-points’ deal. Our outside philosophy may look perfect, but we only have eternal value if we’re ‘real’, by His grace, on the inside.
I don’t want to be like the pumpkin who isn’t real, but looks perfect. I can’t cover up the imperfections I have. But I choose His grace to bring me to a place that has useful fruit and life-giving seeds for His kingdom’s benefit.
Copyright © 2015 Nadine Patton.
All Rights Reserved.