A daily devotion for March 6th
7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10).
Notice how carefully he puts
works in the right place. You don't obtain anything from God by working for it. You never deserve anything but judgment at His hand. If He gave us what we deserve, we would all end up in hell. No, we receive His grace, His mercy, His love. But these result in good works. That is the point. They are designed to produce good works. It is a marvelous manifestation of God's ability.
The word workmanship is really the word poem.
We are his poem. Perhaps it would be better rendered,
We are his masterpiece. God is working out in our lives a tremendous exhibition of His wisdom, His power, His love, His life, His character, His peace, and His joy. He is teaching us, training us, bringing us along, applying the paint in exactly the right places, producing a marvelous masterpiece to be put on display. This is to result in good works: kindness, love, mercy, compassion, help to one another, meeting one another's needs.
Paul says that God has prepared these works beforehand. I experienced an interesting illustration of this. One of our interns flew to Albuquerque with me. We decided, as the plane was landing, that we would have some prayer together. I hadn't talked to him about this passage at all, but I was struck by the way he prayed. He said,
Father, thank You for the good works already prepared for us in Albuquerque, for the fact that they are waiting for us to step into them and experience them. Sure enough, after we got to Albuquerque these began to unfold.
There was a missionary there from the Amazon region of South America who was discouraged and terribly upset, ready to quit the ministry. Through the ministry we had there he came alive and began to see again what God could do. He came to us with a light on his face and said,
I'm going back to my field completely revolutionized in my approach. Now I've learned how God operates.
A young pastor was facing dissension in his church. He wanted some counsel on how to handle it. God enabled the Scriptures to speak to that situation and give him wisdom and guidance for it. All these good works had been prepared beforehand. All we did was step into them.
Do you have any idea how many good works God has prepared for you? They are waiting for you to enter into as you walk in faith and trust and dependence upon Christ. The situations are there, ready and waiting for you to step into. This is what God has called you to. As you do so, you become a vivid display of the greatness and the glory of God.
Thank You, Father, that You have prepared beforehand good works for me to walk in. Grant that I might see these opportunities and take full advantage of them in the power of your Spirit.
Life Application: Before we step out from home, we usually think about how we look. Do we also think about God's plan for us today how He is going to display Himself through us today?
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Copyright © 2007 by Elaine Stedman — This daily devotion is from the book The Power of His Presence: a year of devotions from the writings of Ray Stedman; compiled by Mark Mitchell. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice and a hyperlink to www.RayStedman.org if the copy is posted on the Internet. Please direct any questions you may have to webmaster@RayStedman.org.