Dear Lord, As we read this passage today, help us to hear your message for us. Amen.
Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
10For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
For by God’s grace we have been saved!
Through faith – belief in God and his word.
Whenever I read this verse I immediately feel freer, like a heavy weight, being lifted off of me and I can breathe again. It gives me great comfort and peace.
As a teen, God, opened my eyes, so I could see that he was real and that he loved me! He wanted me to know that I am, forgiven, for my multitude of sins; even ones I have yet to commit! Jesus, His only Son paid the price for this gift; to save me from eternal death, away from God.
God did this for each and everyone of us; we did not, nor could not, do it for ourselves. I cannot take any credit for my salvation. Our part is to believe it and receive it from Him, and then to live our lives for God.
I love the next line: For we are God’s handiwork, …
He designed each one of us, and though we are made in his image and are physically similar, we are each uniquely made and are wired differently. That is so incredible to think about.
…Created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
God spells out our purpose right there! We were created to do good works! Which God prepared in advance for us to do!
What specific good works has God created you for?
What has he prepared in advance for you to do?
What, if anything holds us back and prevents us from getting involved, reaching out to others, sharing God’s love tp those around us?
Is it just us using our own freewill to only look to our own interests and those who are closest to us?
Is it the Enemy influencing us, and our letting him gain power over us in our minds and hearts?
He doesn’t want us out doing good works for God and he will do anything to stop us! Our doubts and fears hold us back as we remember our past mistakes. He uses them against us to convince us we are not good enough, smart enough or worthy enough to do what God has called us to do.
In Pastor’s message, this week, about the Shield of Faith – he said, “when Fear surrounds you and holds you into your little box – Remember the Faith you have in God and be freed from the Fear box”.
God has graciously done this for me over the past few years. I used to sit at home feeling safe and secure. I was afraid to go out, and get involved, and afraid of what might happen to me and my family. I had let these fears grow deeper over the years until they had made me useless. And that is how I felt.
As my faith in God grew stronger, I gave more of myself over to God, he gently encouraged me to venture out, and meet people. He helped me find other believers to talk to and pray with. This helped me to feel more confident and see what I am able to do with God’s help.
We can’t let the enemy stop us from doing what God is calling us to do.
No matter where we are in our faith journey we can each do something right where we are. The struggles we went through last year may help us to understand and help someone else who may be facing the same struggles. Blessing others through our prayers and kindness is something we all can do.
Dear God, our Heavenly Father and Almighty Creator,
Thank you for your gift of grace and for saving us through faith.
Thank you for freeing us from our fears.
Thank you for creating us in Christ Jesus to do good works.
Please show each of us Lord, the good works that you have prepared for us to do. Help us each to serve you with joyful hearts and do our best for your honor and glory, Amen.