10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
Good works, prepared beforehand, so we would walk in them.
We were meant for a purpose beyond our own success.
I have written about this frequently. Probably because I, chief among sinners, needs constant reminding.
I was not meant for what I do for a living, unless God decides to make that living doing His will. But for now I have a day job. This is my “profession”. He has given me a “vocation”, which right now is mostly in my writing. But has encompassed many aspects of reaching others over the years.
Now, at a time when I am looking at my next step and options I must ask myself; Am I willing to take what (the good works) He prepared for me and walk in them?
Lord, give me strength to do so.
26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me. Where I am, there my servant also will be. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him. (John 12:26 CSB)
The opportunity to serve is all around us. In every aspect of our lives we have the ability to make what ever we do into service for God by simply doing it with a servants heart and mind.
This is, of course, counter cultural. Thus, anything with the word “service” or “servant” in it is looked down upon. For the most part.
Appreciation for those who serve us also seems counter cultural.
Yet, scripture tells us that where God is, his servant (us) should be as well. When we follow God into service we will be honored. Maybe not in this lifetime, but surely in eternity.
Thus, where the I Am, is where I am as well.
39 Going a little farther,[a] he fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39 CSB)
Christ was at an impasse. He knew the will of the Father but he also feared as a human. Yet, he opened himself to God’s will and did not strive to make his own way out of the situation.
We may find ourselves in situations like this. Not nearly as critical for mankind, but clearly critical for ourselves.
Do we open ourselves to God’s will or do we try to find our own way forward? The human condition says that we must make our own way. God can catch up to us.
But God may need us to walk through the fire to refine what we are first. He may need us to subject our will to His will.
When at an impasse, we need to wait on God.
15 And let the peace of Christ, to which you were also called in one body, rule your hearts. And be thankful. (Colossians 3:15 CSB)
I was talking to a friend and coworker recently and I could see the stress and strain on their face. All the while they tried to assure me that they were ok.
They were NOT ok!
In a brief conversation it was clear that they were suffering physical, mental and spiritual pain. There was no peace in their lives.
Peace can be elusive. We live in a world where everything is pressing and everyone wants something right now! Our responsibilities of work and family weigh upon us and we just want to stop the world for a moment so we can get off.
This desire was painted clearly on my friends face. I tried to provide some counsel and prayed for them, but they needed a fresh work from God more than me. Sometimes that fresh work comes from our friends though. So I did my best to build my friend up and provide a clear and fresh perspective. Not with platitudes, but with compassion, concern and a reminder of God’s promises.
Sometimes we just need a refreshing chance to unload.
20 My eager expectation and hope is that I will not be ashamed about anything, but that now as always, with all courage, Christ will be highly honored in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20 CSB)
We expect that our lives will be honoring as the life we lead and never require that we give up that life for our values or beliefs. But if history is any teacher we know that there have been, are and will be situations that have called for others lives.
Those who put their lives on the line each day for us within law enforcement and fire departments. The military that stand daily in the breach. Missionaries in the field overseas where they face hardship, rejection and threats.
Rarely do we have to say that we defend anything, much less our faith, with all courage. In the face of great adversity. But that time is coming, make no mistake.
We must gain strength and fortitude now so that if the time comes we can face such ferverant opposition we can do so with all courage.
25 The rain fell, the rivers rose, and the winds blew and pounded that house. Yet it didn’t collapse, because its foundation was on the rock. (Matthew 7:25 CSB)
Do you often feel like the house of your life (metaphorically) is continually shaken by the wind, rain and rivers risings within your life?
Do you ever consider what you have built your life upon? Is it a foundation of Spirit and faith, or one of dependence upon money, relationships, status?
The foundation on which we build determines the strength of what we have built. Lives that are easily shaken are not lives built upon rock. Lives built upon the shifting sands of anything else are metaphorical homes without proper underpinning.
Do you ever question if everything were stripped away what life would look like? None of us like to consider this, but it happens and a life not founded upon something bigger than ourselves will struggle when the worst times come.
Set your foundation upon the Rock of God’s great love.
4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; grief, crying, and pain will be no more, because the previous things[a] have passed away. (Revelations 21:4 CSB)
No more; grief, crying, and pain.
That sounds pretty good no matter you current condition. Even the stress of this life that we can deal with bears upon us over time.
Thomas Merton said, “ Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.“
Thus, every moment of every day impacts us, for good or ill, and with the Spirit’s help we are able to thrive in all circumstances.
It may not always feel like we can but looking forward, keeping our eye on the prize, scripture tells us all previous things have passed away. We have only joy to look forward to.
He will wipe away every tear from our eyes and death will be no more.