“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).
While I was praying this morning, the Lord spoke to me and said, “Come on Jason!”
How many times have I said to my young nephews: “Come on William!” or “This way Andrew!” I can’t help wondering how big the world must seem from the vantage points of a five and four year old. So often, I have to go to them, and take their little hands, and lead them back along the path. But am I really all that different from my nephews in this way? The distractions of this world try to captivate and ensnare me just the same, with its concerns as well as with its pleasures, whether righteous or not, and among them, where I always find myself relying on my own will and on my own strength, I stumble time and time again.
How can Jesus work through me, if I live as though I am suppose to work through Him? That’s not nonsense! There’s a difference, and although it may be a seemingly subtle shift in mindset, it is quite significant. “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). God is at work within us, whom are in Christ, both to will and to work for His good purpose (Philippians 2:13); therefore, yes, as Paul wrote, we can, indeed, do all things, in God’s will—that is, but only through Christ who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). Even before our conversion, God mapped out a blueprint for our life. So, I don’t need to devise a plan of my own; He already has one prepared for me. Turns out, I am not supposed to be self-sufficient, after all; No, I am entirely dependent on God.
The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) illustrates the spiritual principle: “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them” (29). Although the Bible doesn’t depict an outcome where every servant yields the same harvest, scripture is clear that God measures to each one what they need to accomplish the work given them; this is grace. Ultimately, God will judge our works based on the faith He has measured to us, leaving no room, among the people of God, for superiority complexes, whether one is a CEO and the other is a janitor. We were created in Christ Jesus, not the other way around; therefore, let us set our eyes on Christ, and Christ alone. Let Jesus take us by the hand and follow Him. I know, I am. Amen!
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