Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
In the earlier verses of Ephesians 2, we read about three words:
Each one of these words has something to do with His workmanship in us.
Recently, I was doing some counseling with a very difficult person. The difficulty came in their response to everything I was trying to say that would point them in a different direction than they were going. However, I realized they were more in love with the direction they were going than they were with the Lord. This probably is the condition of many people, as John said:
John 3:19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.
Doesn’t that explain the difficulty we have with human nature? We love the darkness of our own path … more than the path that leads to God.
So, what is this workmanship Paul speaks about in Ephesians 2?
I think God wants us to be more like Christ in our attitude, behavior, and beliefs. I believe God’s workmanship begins with mercy. This is God’s attitude toward every human being … He is rich in mercy toward our sinfulness and rejection of Him. God requires mercy from His people … mercy is a sign there has been a radical change in our lives. Mercy is not a human characteristic … mercy is forgiveness, going the second mile, and giving rather than taking. Mercy represents the message of the Cross, God’s way of saying, “I love you.”
His workmanship in us is about grace. The same grace He has given us so that we can have salvation is the same grace He wants us to live through in this life. In my difficult counseling session, I asked the person about grace. Did they believe God’s grace was real? They said yes, that it was the gift of God’s grace than brings us salvation. Then I said, “It is the same grace that God gives you that He wants you to give to others without them meriting it.” There was silence in the room. At that moment, I realized how profound God's grace was. How easily we forget that in the same way we have received, we should give. Grace is characteristic of how we follow Christ.
The last word that describes His workmanship is kindness. Most people recognize kindness … even the hardest of people know kindness when it is shown to them. It is God’s kindness that leads people to salvation, so why wouldn’t our kindness lead people to salvation as well? Kindness is a work of the spirit, and it is one of those attributes that will draw people to us. Kindness is not meekness … it is an attitude that honors people. That honor is what God showed us when He gave His only Son to die on a Cross. He hated our sins but honored His creation so much that He gave us His best to show us we had value to Him. That is what kindness does … it shows others they have value to us.
His workmanship is a powerful thing when we allow God to mold us as the potter did with Israel as the clay in Jeremiah 18. I guess I never saw God's workmanship like this before, but it makes sense to me now. Learning mercy, grace, and kindness is not easy, but it is how God shapes us as we surrender to Him.
May 2023 be a year of influence for you, as you use that influence in honoring God, as you live out mercy, grace, and kindness in your life. Just remember, the world around you represents just the opposite of these three words. You just might stand out.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler
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