Thursday, April 18, 2013

Grace and Works

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. Ephesians 2:8-10.
In many circles, it seems we read one sentence or the other of this passage. We seem to struggle to hold the two together at the same time. We either hang our spiritual weight upon grace by faith or we emphasize good works. Today, the words leap off of the page at me and it seems clear that we need to hang on every word of God. Yes, it is by grace we have been saved, through faith - and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God; and yes, as we are saved, we become a renewed creation, created for doing good works. There are good works to be done because God has prepared good works (in advance) for us to do. He is just waiting for each of us to respond to the free gift so that we can get on with what we have been created to do. As a new creation in Christ, we have things to do. We can now get on with the things that are waiting to be done. It is usually quite easy to see what needs to be done. There are plenty of good works that God has prepared.

We are his hands we are his voice
We are the ones who must make a choice
If it isn't now, tell me when
And if it isn't you, then tell me
Who will save the children. - Randy Stonehill "Who Will Save The Children."

I get so distracted by my bigger schemes
Show me the importance of the simple things
Like a word, a seed, a thorn, a nail, and a cup of cold water.
You know the number of my days
So come paint your pictures on the canvass in my head
Come write your wisdom on my heart
Teach me the power of a moment. - Chris Rice "The Power of a Moment."

What good works can I do today? Not as a means of achieving salvation; but doing the things I was re-created to do.

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