“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned ahead of time) that we should walk in them – living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live” (Amplified Bible).
Back in the 70’s, there was a popular gospel phrase used in the evangelical church, that said, “God has a wonderful plan for your life.” The origin may have been from Bill Bright’ s Four Spiritual Laws; the first of which is, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.” Thinking back about it now, I believe Mr. Bright may have had Ephesians 2:10, in mind.
God does indeed have a wonderful plan for our lives. The plan is called salvation and once we turn in repentance to Christ and commit to follow Him daily, we become a new creation. We can start our lives over. Jesus makes us anew. Through union with Him, we put on the new self, made in the likeness of God and put away the old person because the new has come (Ephesians 2:15; 4:24, 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 6:15; Colossians 3:10).
What a wonderful plan! I am so glad to worship and serve a God of second chances. What’s more, in gratitude to Him, I can live a life of good by serving others. Interestingly, doing good is a mandate for Followers of Christ (Followers of Isa al Masih). In Matthew 5:16, Jesus says, “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Jesus is saying that good works are necessary for God to be honored in heaven. We ask, what do our works, good or bad, have to do with God in heaven? Well, if we think about it, if we don’t help others; if we don’t reach out to those in need, if we ignore those who are hurting, what will be their response? People in despair and despondency, always, always curse God. It’s part of our human nature, our old self. We blame God for everything. Believers and unbelievers alike, we all blame God at one time or another. Honestly, I know this to be true because I too have spent time cursing God. Hurting people, hurt others and sometimes their actions destroy our families, and we curse. But, this can’t happen. God is a good God and more than anything else, we want people to bless, thank, and praise God, so we must be about good works and shine the love of Christ. Good works bring honor to our good God. And it is the new purpose of our life in Christ. Much of the church these days, myself included,have been far too concerned with serving our own interests. We focus too much on God’s love for us as an individual. Or we focus on upgrading the comforts, amenities and meeting places to suite our cultural desires. Or we create organizations for overseas service and outreach, but call and support those who are only concerned with getting rich and making their own kingdoms on foreign fields. What about the hurting world? They need to know that God loves them too! How do we communicate that? Consider the words of James;
14 What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? 15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, 16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?
17 So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.
18 Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.”
“It’s all about glory. God is all about His glory, and we all are prone to be glory hounds, seeking to steal what is rightfully God’s. Shining light gives glory to God, blowing horns draws attention to ourselves.” (From: Shining Lights or Blowing Horns) ( Kari Patterson.com)
Good works are our calling! Good works are the evidence and testament of our Faith. Good works opens doors for the Gospel to flow. Good works allow God’s Love to directly touch the lives of those who need it most. This is what God planned for us.