A Useful Gift
Read Ephesians 2:8-10
For by grace, you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Paul established that our works do not earn our salvation, so what is the role of good works in the Christian life?
My kids received special, hand-made blankets when they were babies from family. But we were scared to use them! They seemed like family heirlooms not intended for everyday use. They might get stained or tattered. But when the givers found out the blankets had been put on display instead of put into use, we were set straight. “Those blankets were a gift that we intended for you to use!”
Similarly, God gave us our salvation as a special gift, but He expects us to use it. Just as my kids did nothing to earn or deserve those baby blankets, so we have done nothing to earn or deserve our own salvation. God gave us salvation as a free gift because He loves us. We just have to accept the gift and then put it to good use.
Paul says that we were “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” When we accept Christ, we become a new creation. Our old selves walked in sin and the ways of this world. And God didn’t save us so that we could remain as we are! He has a plan and purpose for our new selves. He has jobs lined up for us to do that demonstrate His love and grace to the world around us.
Friends, your salvation was not the type of gift that God intended for you to set upon the shelf. He intends for you to walk in the good works He has prepared for you to do. Not to earn your salvation but to demonstrate your salvation to the watching world. Are you ready to get to work?
God, thank You for saving me on the basis of my faith and not because of deeds. But God, now, I want to be used by You. Use me to show Your love and grace to those I encounter today. Amen.
~ Pastor Nat Crawford
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