Painting Fences

Two men, two fences, two reasons

What you learn from these two men could change your eternal destiny!

Bill was late for work, and in an attempt to get the driver in front of
him to go faster, he kept flashing his lights and blowing his horn. Suddenly, the driver
stopped and got out of his car to see what Bill wanted. Bill, extremely upset, ran towards
him, pushing him down to the ground. The man broke his arm and had to be taken to a local
hospital for emergency treatment.  Charges were filed and Bill was found guilty of
aggravated assault.

Bill was scheduled to be sentenced the following Monday, but he had an
idea which he thought would help his case. On Saturday morning Bill went to the
judge’s horse farm with many gallons of paint. He began early in the morning to paint
the long fence that ran around the property. He painted all day, only stopping in spots to
trim the grass under the fence. Bill was sure his work would influence the judge come
Monday morning.

Another man, Joe, often lived beyond his means, and got into debt which he
could not pay. One day he was taken to court by one of his creditors. The judge demanded
payment be made within a month or Joe would go to jail. Joe was not able to pay the debt
and fully expected to go to jail; however, a friend heard of his problem and graciously
paid his debt for him. He even told Joe that he did not have to pay back the money.

The next day Joe showed up at his friend’s house with gallons of
paint and began to paint the fence that ran around the backyard. His friend told him it
was not necessary for him to paint the fence. Joe said he knew that, but he wanted to show
his appreciation for what his friend had done for him. (Galatians 2:20)

Here are two men, painting two fences, but for two different reasons. One
was doing it to influence the judge, the other to show his appreciation for what his
friend had done for him.

These two men perfectly illustrate the difference between a religious
person and a person who has trusted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. The religious
person does what he does to influence the Judge, God, while the person who has trusted
Christ as his personal Savior serves Christ out of appreciation for the fact that Christ
died for his sins. He is not attempting to influence God’s judgment upon his sins, as
that has already taken place at the cross of Calvary. He now serves Christ out of love for
Him! (2 Cor. 5:14)

Which fence are you painting?  Are you attempting to influence
God’s judgment on your sins by your religious efforts and good deeds. It will not
work, as “there is no respect of persons with God”(Romans 2:5), and you must pay
for your sins, the penalty of which is death and eternal separation from God. (Romans

Read the Gospel of John to see how you can know your sins forgiven through
faith in Jesus Christ, and be freed from religion to serve Him out of love and

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”(Ephesians

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”(John

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life
through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)