As a child I was taught to memorize key Bible verses highlighting the main message of the Christian faith: the Gospel.
One of the first passages I memorized, Ephesians 2:8-9, made it extremely clear there was NOTHING I could do to work for, or earn salvation. God's salvation was a FREE gift.
"For it is by grace you have been saved through faith - and not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast."
Clear and compelling. God offers us freedom from what we've done wrong as His gift. Incredible! Freedom from guilt, shame, condemnation, and the penalty of rebellion towards God. For thousands of years, this has been and will continue to be good news. Gospel.
I accepted that gift and I have never felt a need to work to earn this good news. Done. Finished. Never a need to earn God's grace of His love. Never.
HOWEVER: What's NOT DONE was the passage - nor God's invitation into amazing grace.. For in the next few words, God extends His grace by inviting us into what HE is doing TODAY in the world. The work yet unfinished.
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus do to good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)
We are God's "workmanship." This English word comes from the Greek word, "poiema," from which we derive the word poem. In other words, the context of God's grace involves God's GIFT of creating people who are God's poem in this world. His work of art.
The reason God made each of us? To be HIS WORK OF ART int he world to JOIN HIM to create and restore His plan for THIS WORLD.... Even Prepared IN ADVANCE for us to do.
You may or not know what that work is (at least yet) but this gospel invites us to accept the grace of being called to participate in God's unfinished work in the world. This is NOT a burden, a load or a kill-joy. Just the opposite, it's an invitation into the meaningful work human souls crave most. God's adventure!
The invitation of this "other part of the gospel" : to accept
1. That who you are, your gifts, personality, passions and even your past have a purpose.
2. That you can NOW choose to join God in the work HE does on earth for the rest of your life, "the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better get doing." (The Message)
3. That you have a role to play in filling God's overall destiny for the world.
Therefore, if sometimes you wonder why you believe you have a greater destiny and purpose for your life, you aren't being arrogant or wanting something you can't have. You DO have a destiny!
If you get the sense that God has a plan for your life, you aren't being weak and wanting someone else to give meaning to your life. There IS a plan for your life!
If you have wondered if your painful past may have a purpose: It does!
If you have wondered why you feel you have a gift the world needs. You do. And you must use your gift!
Can you get paid for this work? Maybe. Maybe not.
Will this work make your life better? Absolutely!
Will this work make your days more meaningful? Absolutely.
Will your legacy in this world live beyond you? Yes!
Can you KNOW what your real work is? Very likely!
Why not accept it... then just ask God to make that clear. My guess: He will answer that prayer.
Let me know when He does! Love to hear those stories!
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