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Monday, March 19, 2018

Working With Others, I Can Accomplish More

In review of Ephesians 2:10 it says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (NIV).

Bottom Line:
We are created by God, through Jesus to do good things that God prepared for us to do.

What this means to me:
I am God’s handiwork. He created me in Christ Jesus to do good things that he has planned in advance for me to accomplish.

In Ephesians 8-10, Paul's helps me realize my true identity in Christ. He tells me that God saved me by God’s own grace when I first believed. There is no way I can take credit for this; it is strictly a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things I do or have done, so I can not boast about it. For I am God's true masterpiece. He created me anew in Christ Jesus, so I can do the good things he had in mind for me to do, long ago.

When someone gives me a gift, I don't respond with, "that's nice, how much do I owe you?" No, an appropriate response to a gift is “Thank You." Yet at times, even after being given a gift of salvation, I still feel obligated to try to work my way to God. But because my salvation and even my faith are gifts, I should respond with gratitude, praise, and joy.

I become saved through God's unmerited grace, not as the result of any effort, ability, intelligent choice, or act of service on my part. Out of gratitude for his free gift, my goal is to help and serve others with kindness, love, and gentleness, and not as something to merely to please myself. While no action or work I do can help me obtain salvation, God's intention is that my salvation will result in acts of service. I am not saved merely from my own benefit but serve Christ and build up the church.

I am God's masterpiece (work of art, workmanship). My salvation is something only God can do. It is his powerful, creative work in me. If God considers me his masterpiece, I do not dare treat myself or others with disrespect or as inferior work.

God put me here on Earth to do a certain work that only I can do. Ephesians says that God created me to do good works and that he planned in advance what I would spend my life doing. However, he didn’t plan for me to do this work alone. I need to work with others to accomplish it.

There is a feeling I get when I do too much work on my own. I get exhausted and burned out. Why? Because I’m trying to do my work alone, while God never meant for it to be that way.

I’m reminded In this verse from Ecclesiastes 4:9, that God tells me, “Two people are better than one, because they get more done by working together” (NCV). When I work as a team, I’ll get so much more done. Plus, having good teammates alongside me is a whole lot more fun and less tiring!

Picture it this way: Each of us is like a snowflake. On our own, we can’t make a big difference. However, when one fragile snowflake sticks with a lot of other snowflakes, they can stop traffic. Like snowflakes, we can make a big difference if we work together, each one of us simply doing our small part.

When I work together here on Earth, I’m actually practicing for eternity? In Heaven, we will all have to work, but each of us will have just a small piece of work, so we’ll never get overloaded or tired. Though no one will carry a heavy burden as each one of us does our small part, all the work will still get done.

As I walk through life, I need to remember that I’m not supposed to do everything on my own. I need others to walk alongside me, and others also need me. As I share the burdens of my work with fellow Christians, I’ll find that I actually accomplish more for the glory of God.

Today, I’m also reminded that this also goes for work. I’m trying to do a lot more on my own. I really need others from the team to be engaged and help me accomplish what needs to be done.