If you missed our 2013 Mini-Ladies Retreat,
this post along with Part I were written just for you. Enjoy!
As God’s Masterpiece, Part I detailed, we are God’s best works, His masterpieces. And as such, He has good works planned that display His work and bring Him glory.
Good works have a crucial role to play in the lives of God’s masterpieces. They give us a way to display our adoration for Him, for His work in creating us anew in Christ Jesus.
Every person has both generalized and specialized good works they can use to show appreciation for God’s redemptive work in their lives. Generalized works are the same for everyone – love your neighbor, be generous, be hospitable, meet needs, care for the poor, etc. Specialized works are unique works based on each individual’s gifts, talents & interests.
We each have gifts, talents and abilities given to us that enable us to show God’s generosity to us. So, not only did He create us anew with the gift of salvation, He also gave us the tools needed to live in that newness for Him. (1 Peter 4:10).
In Matthew 5:13-16, we read how we are salt & light (flavor & guidance) in a lost and dying world. Our good deeds show the world that Christ made us alive and can do the same for them. Our response then is to show God’s masterpieces to the world.
Good Works as a Way of Life
For many people, good works are simply a part of their lives where they show their belief in God. But Ephesians 2:10 indicates, we are to “walk in” our good works. The original meaning of “walk in” gets at good works being a way of living or engaging in a certain lifestyle. Good works are to be a way of life not just a part of life.
Walking in good works encompasses the whole of a Christian, not just specific tasks like cleaning the church or teaching Sunday school. Our lives are not a division of “stuff we do for God” and “everything else.” All of who we are, what we do, and the attitude in which we do it encompass what “walk in” good works means.
In fact, we could say that we are to flourish in good works (Psalm 92:12-15). And we definitely can say that our way of living, our good works, should always aim to please the Lord (Colossians 1:9-10).
Flourishing & Pleasing
So, why don’t we always flourish? Why do we continually fail to live in ways that please Him? The combination of reasons are unique to the individual but most likely include:
- Weariness (Daniel 7:25; 2 Thessalonians 3:13)
- Busyness & distractions (Luke 10:38-42)
- Listening to the wrong voice (John 8:44)
God’s Word tells us that we an continue flourishing & pleasing Him with good works even to old age (Psalm 92:12-15). In other words, we can overcome weariness, busyness, distractions and deception and instead walk in good works. How? Again, the ways are many and varied, but they include…
- Refusing the glory. It’s about Him, not us.
- Staying in shape. (Ephesians 6:10-20) Be faithful in the basics.
- Doing what’s next. Like Abraham, we can take the next step without knowing God’s whole plan. Just start walking.
- Focusing on what He has prepared. Refuse to let your daily plans get in the way of what God planned for you long ago.
- Knowing yourself. What are your interests, abilities, skills, talents, opportunities, etc.? Consider your background, personality, dreams & appearance – God gave them to you to shape you into a specific way of living (doing good works) as His masterpiece.
- Encouraging others. (Hebrews 10:24) Let others know that you notice their lifestyle of good works.
You often (hopefully) consider your appearance before stepping outside your home. I’m not talking fashion but just being presentable and respectful in your appearance.
Do you think as much about how you display God through your way of living (good works)? Do you focus on doing the good works God prepared for you to do or more on asking Him to bless your daily plans?
Focusing more on how our lives reflect God rather than what others think of us personally means allowing the good works He planned for you long ago to flourish all the days of your life.