Monday, October 17, 2011

Good works in advance....

Week 42:
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship (handiwork), created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
For years in my Christian walk I have known and felt that I am made by God.  Even in later years, I realize that Jesus was with God in the beginning and that I am crafted through Jesus the son.  I have read this passage several times only really focusing on the first part of the verse.  It is the last part that has really begun to stick with me in recent times.

Over the past few years, I have really been looking deeper into the nature of God and His character.  Call it maturity or whatever you like, but the good old churchy view of God was not getting the job done for me.  As I began to study God deeper, things really started to unfold.  I have started to see God’s work going on around me more and more. 
This is where the last part of this verse comes in for me.  There are things that I do in the kingdom of God that have been set out for me to do well in advance.  So many times in my life I felt as if I was wandering through just finding random good works that I was to take part in or that God was doing around me.  As I read, “…good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” I realize that what I deem as random is all part of a carefully laid out plan for me.  All I need to do is choose to pay attention and follow what God has laid out.
Now, I do not want to be discouraging, but I also do not want to paint a picture that every good work we do for God is a bed of roses either.  However, when you look at the great men of the Old Testament, you see that their good works for God started with some character building, life-changing events.  Jacob, Joseph, and Moses are prime examples.  There are others as well.  We know the end story.  We have the Bible to tell us.  These men did not.  But, God had good works prepared in advance for these men to do. 
Here are some other thoughts relating to this passage.  One, what a comfort and exciting thing it is that God has a plan for me even though I may not see the end of my story!  Two, I still get to choose whether or not to follow the plan laid out by God.  Three, if I choose the plan, there will be character building moments in order to prepare me for the good works he has laid out for me.  Finally, whether or not I choose to follow the plan, God’s work and purpose will still be carried out.  I enter God’s plan with both excitement of what he has in store for me and fear relating to the further character building I am to face.  With both in mind, I look forward to the journey.
1.      How has this passage set with your heart today?
2.       Reflecting back, what are some character building moments where you now see it was God preparing you?
3.      In your current situation, are you in a character building moment now?  What do you see, feel, or sense God may be doing?
4.      Are you willing to surrender to His character building?  How?


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