This whole idea about Grace has really gotten me thinking.
What about works? I know we’re saved by faith, but we are supposed to do good works after we are saved. Right?
When I mull that over in my mind, the scripture fragment that keeps being whispered in my head is “We are His workmanship!” Yes, good works will follow our belief in and acceptance of Jesus; but they will be His good works. As He works good in us, that good will overflow and spill out.
Most often, when I do good works — the kind I think a lot of us mistakenly think we are supposed to be doing — I have all the wrong motives. When I come up with the ideas and plan it all out and get all excited about doing good, most often it’s all Jennifer and very little Jesus and I’m awfully proud of myself for this good I’ve done. I’m doing all this good so that I will earn rewards or so that I can score some brownie points with my Father; and if other people seem to notice and tell me how wonderful I am, then that’s an added bonus.
That’s the problem. When WE are doing the working, then we think we deserve the praise. But if we can simply BE — be with our Father so that He will gradually take over inside us — then His goodness will flow out of us. And it’s not Jennifer doing the good works. It’s my Father doing the good works. So there’s no notion that I should get any brownie points or praise or anything because I’ll know the good works are His and His alone.
I think if we can transform our thinking from Doing to Being, then we will truly experience the freedom the Bible speaks of. Because, honestly, when we’re trying to make ourselves do good things in order to please God or pay Him back for salvation or make ourselves act holy and righteous, how free do we really feel? We might do OK for a while, but then we mess up. And then we only feel frustrated and angry with ourselves and like we’re disappointing God. But if we can just stop. Stop trying so hard and just be. Then we will be amazed at what God will do.
He loves us so much. He delights in us and dances over us with joy. He doesn’t expect us to get our own acts together and muster up the goodness to act like Him. How funny that we’d ever dream we could do it! We are His workmanship! If we’ll just stop and sit down and be quiet and let Him love us and fill us and change us from the inside out, then we will be used in many good works and we will be transformed into righteousness.
Oh, I am His workmanship, His masterpiece. YOU are His masterpiece. Meditate on that today.