October 3, 2018
“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
There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. It comes only through God’s grace. He is the one who has done the complete work through Jesus Christ. All that is left up to us is to simply acknowledge and receive that truth. As Selwyn Hughes so brilliantly states;
“God took the initiative. He is more inclined toward us than we are toward Him. We cannot earn His affection. We have simply to receive it… There is no reason for grace but grace.”
But what about our works after that grace has been applied to our lives? What can we bring to the table as a response to God’s Salvation? I always love it when my small children make a gift for me. Whether it is some art project or some treat in the kitchen, it always blesses me. However, in reality, everything they used to make that gift already belonged to me. I paid for the supplies that my children used to make a gift for me. So it is in our relationship with God. Ephesians teaches us that our Salvation is the handiwork of God. But it also teaches us that our good works are prepared in advance by Him as well. When we bring something to God, it puts a smile on His face. But we should never think for a moment that we have provided Him with something that He did not already own or offered Him some gift that He did not first give to us.
Father, thank You for taking the initiative. Thank You that the only reason for grace is grace. It does not depend on us. But we want to thank You as well for the fact that You provide us with all the materials we need to work for Your Kingdom and bring to You a gift that makes you smile.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Shane Cannon