“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of your works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Have you ever had to try out for a sport, or anything for that matter? Most of us have at least interviewed for a job, which is similar to a tryout. You hope to put your best foot forward and get noticed. You are hoping that you might be fast enough, strong enough, good enough to make the cut. It is a pretty stressful time! When you do find out if you made the cut you might be met with an exhilarating high or a debilitating low.
What is beautiful and crazy about the Gospel is that not a single one of us make the cut! None of us on our own are good enough to make the team. Thankfully there is a Heavenly Father that isn’t disappointed in us after we often fall flat on our faces. He is so loving that he decided to sacrifice his own son so that we might be part of God’s adopted family!
That is the good news! If we believe in Jesus Christ we have made the team! In his sovereignty and goodness, God has also prepared “good works” for us to walk in now that we are on the team. Remember the good works come when you are on the team, they don’t earn your spot on the team!
Sometimes in ministry, like in sports, we are fearful and hesitant to get in the game because we are not sure what position we are best at. Maybe you have held yourself back in the past because you didn’t want to fail…I know I have. Paul gives us a great perspective about our “good works” in his letter to the Corinthians.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” 1 Corinthians 13: 1-3
At the church in Corinth there was a debate going on about the use of gifts, and Paul says I want to show you a “more excellent way” ( 1 Cor. 12:31). The point of the good works that the Lord has established for us is to love Jesus Christ with our heart, mind, and strength, and then out of that overflow to love other people! The purpose of the gifts we have been given from above (James 1:17) is that we might love others and glorify our Lord!
So when we are nervous about failing or don’t feel that we have any gifts to offer, I hope that together we can push those feelings to the side, get in the game, and start loving on people! Loving someone doesn’t take any giftings at all, it takes a new heart, which we have as born-again Christians in Jesus Christ.
So please join me and get in the game in any way you can, and I know that once you do people will affirm you in how God’s made you, and playing the game will become a great joy to you!