by Gerhard le Roux
Insight 1: Jewish Tradition Reveals a Layer of Meaning
Glen Barkhuizen has a unique mission. Glen is in charge of the garden ministry at Moreson Farm, where my family lived and ministered before God called us to Onseepkans.
Glen has a vital part to play in the work at Moreson. When new intakes first come to Moreson Farm for help, they first land with Glen in his garden ministry.
Most of these men come from a background of gangs and drug abuse. Through their work in the garden, Glen has many opportunities to open their eyes to spiritual truths about the world.
Glen with some new intakes to his garden ministry at Moreson Farm.
Glen recently visited us at Onseepkans Mission.
One thought Glen shared in our Sunday service was especially challenging to me. He shared how in the Jewish tradition when a boy and girl get engaged or married, they drink from the same cup as a symbol that they are now united as one.
Glen shared about that terrible moment in the life of our Lord Jesus when He had to drink from the cup of His bride in the garden of Gethsemane. Imagine that He, as a pure and spotless bridegroom, had to unite Himself with a prostitute bride, full of the sins, immorality and evils of this world."
How difficult it must have been for Him to drink that cup, and that bride was us, you and me. How great a Love that our Saviour was willing to lay down His life for such a bride!
This fills us with humility, but also with with extreme gratefulness that we received such amazing grace.
Insight 2: A Fresh Look at How Pruning Bears Fruit
When Glen pruned our fruit trees, we were reminded of the words of our Lord Jesus where He shared how we must be pruned to bear much fruit.
Trees have a natural tendency to cover their centers with branches and leaves. When Glen pruned the fruit trees, he did it in such a way that the centers opened up so as to receive the maximum amount of sunlight to bear the maximum amount of fruit.
To achieve this, Glen had to cut away all the branches that covered the center of the tree. In the very same way we have many branches that cover the center of our lives, the sinful self with all the shame of all the sins that we have committed.
It is so dense that God's light cannot shine into our hearts.
It's so dense that God's light cannot shine into our hearts.
God needs to cut away all the branches that cover and protect the self, by showing us our sins and prompting us by His Spirit to confess our sins and bring it to the light.
Then God's light can penetrate our hearts and change our hearts of stone in a soft heart that is willing to humble ourselves and bow under God's hand.
In this way we bear much fruit, the fruit of the Holy Spirit. God works through a humble and contrite heart.
If we, as the immoral and sinful bride of Christ, are proud and full of ourselves, God's light cannot penetrate our hearts and we will never be able to bear the fruit that He requires from us.
Insight 3: The Real-life Difference Between Sheep and Goat Young
It is lambing season again! Already we have 10 new born lambs on the mission.
Onseepkans Mission lambs.
Somehow the new born sheep lambs are much more alive and need much less attention than the new born goat lambs. They need special care and attention to get them on their feet and going.
This reminds me of Christians who have confessed their sins and cleansed their lives.
They are like little sheep lambs, alive and jumping around. Those who hide their sins are like little goat lambs, struggling to get on their feet spiritually and they do not excel in the faith.
So many spiritual lessons can be learned from observing the sheep and the goat lambs. Another interesting comparison is that one hardly hears sheep lambs crying for attention. Goat lambs, however, are constantly crying for attention.
Are we like sheep lambs, on our feet and growing in the faith, or goat lambs, struggling because we are not willing to bring our sins to the light?
About the Author
Gerhard le Roux and his family serve their town of Onseepkans, South Africa through development projects, hosting a weekly gathering of kids at their home, leading, equipping and encouraging the local church while declaring and demonstrating the Gospel.