November 1. Brisk mornings. Cool evenings. Leaves falling. Schedules packed with all types of autumn events. Holidays just around the corner.
As we shift from one season to another, our focus often turns toward serving others rather than ourselves. Something about the holiday season makes it natural to reflect on what matters in life. We begin to think about good deeds we can do for others – serving at a soup kitchen, giving a coat to a homeless person, loving on orphans and widows, inviting others into our home to celebrate holidays as they grieve the loss of loved ones.
We might find ourselves wondering how can we actually and actively care more for others than ourselves? Am I living with purpose? Maybe we wrestle with what is my purpose? Am I doing enough? What good deeds should I be participating in?
One of the most freeing things I’ve learned over the years of being in a relationship God through Jesus Christ, is that His grace saved me and has set me apart. I now have purposes to live for. Yet not my own (Galatians 2:20). This life’s purpose is to love God and love others. But that doesn’t mean that I get to come up with my own good deeds, or spend all my energy “paying back” the grace God freely gives. That’s the whole point of being in a relationship with God – it involves communication. So, I am called to live faithfully do as God commands me, to go where He leads me, and to listen as His Spirit speaks.
This summer as hundreds of young men and women studied the letter of Ephesians at EQUIP Boot Camp, I was reminded of the abundant grace that enables believers to do ANY good work. Ephesians chapter 2 soberly states that we were all dead in our trespasses and sins that it is God who makes us alive in Christ Jesus! God has a purpose in raising us from our death in sin; look at what is said about us…
Ephesians 2:10 says, “for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Isn’t that amazing?! God the Creator has prepared beforehand the good works so that we would walk in them. How liberating it is to come to realize (and live like) we are HIS and we have PURPOSE.
Good works flow out of identity. A band member works out that identity by participating, and making music. A student works out that identity by learning and studying. The list goes on and on. The point is that good works have to follow our belief in Jesus, and result in living a life of God-given purpose. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can fulfill the things He has planned. We will fulfill our purpose as His workmanship in Christ Jesus because of God’s grace.
So, this November as you intentionally seek to serve others, prayerfully ask God what good works He has for you! Trust Him to lavish you with His grace that enables you to perform the good works and rest in His strength and infinite power. It is our prayer that you will be zealous to do good and prayerful in each moment of every day with all you encounter this holiday season, including your own soul.
Perhaps you may have a desire to sit down with a loved one to share truth with them over a cup of coffee and a delicious homemade dessert. A simple way for others to engage with God’s Word could be giving them one of our free resources. Consider taking 10-15 minutes to walk someone through this month’s Transform Discipleship Resource (TDR) “Zealous for Good Works” that sheds light on what we are purposed for in Jesus Christ!
The Transform Team