Today was a nonstop type of day. We are preparing for trip to Atlanta to visit Stephan and Nathan and the grandchildren. We are to board our shuttle at 2:30 a.m.!! I believe that means bedtime tonight is 7:00 p.m.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY…. “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 NIV
The mystery of the gospel that had been hidden for generations, was that God would reconcile sinful humanity to Himself through Christ. As Paul writes to Titus,“he [Christ] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy.” (Titus 3:5 NIV)
Paul to the Ephesians simply declares, “by grace you have been saved, through faith…” Paul lays the background for this declaration by pointing out “…you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 2:1-2 NIV)
The first “resurrection” of sorts is when an individual moves from spiritual death to spiritual life in Christ. “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” (Ephesians 2:4,5 NIV)
With hundreds of years of the Jewish law. With hundreds of years of idol worship and attempts to be “good enough” to win the favor of a deity, and even down to our day, when so many believe that heaven is “earned” – no wonder it is a shock and major adjustment for the gospel message to say, “it is not about you and what you have done or can do. It is all what Christ has done.”
But there is a “work” for those who place their faith in Christ to do. We are called to believe. To have faith. “Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.'” (John 6:29 NIV)
Then we are to do “good works.” We do good works not to earn salvation, but to demonstrate a changed life and to do God’s work in the world. Doing “God’s work” demonstrates our love for Him and our obedience to His call. Paul says, “we are God’s handiwork.” The greatest satisfaction in life is not believing salvation is from ourselves, but in understanding that we are God’s handiwork, to do His work. That is the proper response to God’s grace.
Prayer for today… Lord, thank You that You work on us and in us in order that we may be those who do Your work in the world and reflect Your glory for all to see.