“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:20
Dear People Who Keep Company with God,
We are not saved by our works, but we are most certainly saved for good works. Our salvation is by grace through faith, not by doing good deeds (Ephesians 2:8). Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done. Even our best works will not get us any closer to God or any more righteous. We are made righteous and brought near to God only by the blood of Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:13). What we do in the way of good works is essential, but they will never grant us access to God.
Good works are actions and words that flow from a heart of love. Jesus is the greatest of all men, and He is the ultimate example of a man that was secure in the love of the Father. He did not do any of His mighty miracles and works until after He was baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (Mark 1:9-11). As Jesus was rising from the water, the Father spoke to Him from heaven, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.” Love was Jesus’s foundation for all He did and said, and it is our only sure foundation. Like Jesus, we are to be rooted and grounded in the Father’s love. Don’t attempt to do the works of God if your heart isn’t governed by His love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 tells us that doing good things apart from God’s love is nothing more than an irritating noise.
Jesus commissioned us all to do good works (Matthew 5:14-16). When He returns at the end of time, His criteria for those He considers His own are the ones who fed the hungry, gave water to the thirsty, clothed the naked, visited the sick and prisoner, and showed hospitality to the stranger (Matthew 25:31-46). Jesus didn’t say doing such deeds will make you His people. He said those that truly follow Him will do those type of things. When you know the love of God, good works follow. There is no such thing as love without action. You will desire to do good things, not as an obligation but out of your love for Him because He first loved you (1 John 4:19). When you truly love someone, you want to do good things for them because you want them to be blessed and honored. It is an overflow of what is in your heart.
The Holy Spirit is looking for hands He can use. It is written that “God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul.” (Acts 19:11) God does the miracles, but He wants to use your hands, your feet, and your voice. He is still asking the same question that Isaiah overheard when he received his commission from the Lord, “Who will go for us?” (Isaiah 6:8) The Scriptures tell the story of men and women who are filled with flaws, broken and made terrible choices, but they became people who made a difference because they responded to the cry of God’s heart. Let this inspire you to reach beyond yourself and those closest to you. Pursue the blessings of God, but also to seek the power of God so that you may become God’s blessings to others.
Many Blessings, BW