Monday, November 24, 2008

Quiet Moments With God -- Grace vs Work?

Ephesians 2:8 -10 says, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from ourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

On occasion Christians take sides -- either grace or works. The verses in Ephesians clearly state that our “goose would be cooked” without God’s grace. It is only because of His gift of grace that we can be assured heaven will be our eternal home. And so we need to begin there, with the acceptance of His undeserved gift.

After we believe does that mean there’s nothing more to do? Nope. That’s not what The Word says. Although I believe heaven is available even if we never do a thing for God (remember the prisoner crucified alongside Christ), I’m convinced God doesn’t intend for us to believe and then go on our merry way unconcerned with Him or His plan for our lives.

Verse ten of Ephesians Two says we are created to do good works, which were prepared for us to do. It seems to me that if we refuse to do good works we’re walking in disobedience.

God gives each of us gifts and abilities to be used for His service. So I say, let’s use them.

One of the statements I often hear is, “I don’t know how to do anything.” Or, “I’m nothing special. What can I do?” If you look at God’s Word you see that He used plain, ordinary people to spread the good news of Christ and to reach the world with His message of hope.

There is so much joy and beauty to be discovered when we work together—reaching out to one another, to the people in our church and in our communities. Life is meant to be full—of love and grace and service and Christ.

If we’ll just receive the gift God offers, then share it with others we’ll be awash with delight and wonder as we see God's transforming power in action. Giving of ourselves doesn’t end, but is a lifetime of devotion.

Grace and peace to you from God.


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