Friday, June 10, 2011

What Are You Doing With Salvation?

Ephesians 2:4-10

I remember cleaning out my children's closets and pulling out items that they had received as a gift but were just collecting dust.  Sometimes it was because the gift was not a good fit for them, but other times it got put in the closet because they didn't understand what to do with it.  My husband and I would see something at the store as we were shopping for Christmas or their birthday and saw something that we knew without a doubt that they would have so much fun using the item.  The dust collecting item often required help from an adult and the child never brought it out to work on it with us.  I think that sometimes we treat salvation in the same way; please look up Ephesians 2:4-10.

Salvation is a beautiful gift of grace from God!  I just had the pleasure last night to listen to Kay Arthur do a session on God's grace and it was so wonderful to be reminded that we receive the gift because God gives it to us so freely.  Ephesians 2 points out that we are saved only through the gift of grace and not by anything that we do (Ephesians 2:8-9).  But what do we do with that gift?  Do we receive it so that we can continue to live our lives as we always have because we have the confidence that we have been saved by grace?  No!  Please look up Romans 6:1-4.  God wants us to change the way we live as a result of the gift that we have been given.  Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  We are created to do good works!  But, just as the gifts I gave my children were collecting dust because they needed my help to use them, we need Jesus to use our gift of salvation.  We are created in Christ Jesus to do good works.  I also love how the verse says that God prepared us in advance for us to do good works.  I Corinthians 15:10 says, "But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace."  We can do what we can do for God because He is working through us.

I am always amazed when God involves me in something that He could do entirely on His own.  He doesn't need me to serve Him, but He wants me involved in His work.  I get to serve Him and I get to be involved in His work.  We all get to serve Him!  When we believe and accept that we have our ability to serve Him because He gives us those abilities we can have the confidence to do the good works that He called us to do. This is tremendous armor because the enemy wants us to believe that we cannot accomplish the tasks that are set before us.  Philippians 4:13 says, "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who gives me strength."  When we receive the gift of salvation, we are no longer doing things on our own.  We have been given the strength to do the work set before us because Christ is doing a good work in us.

Are you letting your gift of salvation collect dust in the closet, or are you doing the good works that God called you to do through Christ?

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