Wednesday, January 16, 2008

God's Purpose for You--Good Works


In the last few days we've been scoping out passage after passage where genuine faith will result in good works. All of this is under the theme "Faith alone saves, but the faith that saves is not alone." As I get into it further I see this could go on for many more days than I had initially thought. So, let's take 5 more days on this theme.

Today I want to look at a very significant teaching in Ephesians 2:8-10: For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

You are God's handiwork. This word is where we get our word-poem. So, it would be best said, "You are God's poem or message." I believe each of us has a special and unique message given to us by God Himself. This message is not given to us to sit on, but to release it in our relationships. So, now you and I are His message to the world. In other words, your story is His story.

By the way, this means you are needed by the "others" in the world and you have need of the "others" in your life. There is a significance to your existence that goes far beyond your vocation or building your kingdom. God has a plan for you to fulfill-some good works for you to do.

Not only will find your most satisfying fulfillment as you embrace your God-given message for the world, but your good works will shine as a light in the world of darkness. Listen to the words of Jesus: "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

The world doesn't need to be told about Jesus as much as it needs to see Jesus in you and me. The challenge to us is to hang out with Jesus close enough to catch on to how to walk like Jesus, think like Jesus, love like Jesus and talk like Jesus. Then the world may see His face.