I feel like I have explored two major themes in Ephesians 1 - 4: Unity in the body with Christ and God has a purpose for each of us. There are other themes within these four chapters; however, God has me focused on these two themes. I want to quickly bring us back to the idea that God has a plan not only for the church as a whole, but for each individual who follows Christ. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the good things He has planned for us long ago." No matter what God's purpose is for you; He has a plan for you to do good things. I love that! Today, I am continuing to explore what it means to be a follower of Christ and looking at the changes that need to take place in order to do these good things.
Verse 28 tells us to quit stealing. Now, you may be an honest person and never stole anything from any merchant or person. However, the next statement is something that applies to all of us. We are told to use our hands for "good hard work and then give generously to others in need." I think this can be a challenge to every person who professes Christ as their Lord and Savior. This makes me ask myself this question: do I work to satisfy my wants, or do I work to help lift up the body of Christ and show love to those in need? I also want to point out that the word "good" is used in this passage. So one of the good things God has planned for us to is to do good hard work so we can give it back to God. Colossians 3:23 tells us to work as if "working for the Lord rather than people." When we think about the fact that we are doing this not just as a job, maybe we will not feel as entitled to spend all the money on ourselves.
We are also told to watch what is coming out of our mouths. Everything we say should be uplifting and encouraging to others. "Let everything you say be good and helpful..." Once again, we are seeing another "good thing" that God has planned for us. His plan and desire for us is to be lifting each other up through encouraging words. As I write this, I feel the conviction that not every word that comes out of my mouth is encouraging. Sometimes I just spew out a complaint rather than say something good and helpful. However, this is not an impossible task! We have the Holy Spirit empowering us to grow more like Christ every moment of every day.
The good things God has planned for us are not all about what type of ministry we are to do; the good things are also about how we live our lives. It is about our attitudes, words, and our work. It is about what we do with what God has already given us. It is about living our lives in the way that Christ has modeled for us.
Are you seeking to do what is good just as God has planned for you?
Linking up with Thought Provoking Thursday and Experiencing the Love of Koinonia.