9-5-16 Let’s Work Together Eph 2:10
Hi Friends,

Today we celebrate Labor Day. Even though we might complain a bit about it, there is something fulfilling about working. Listen to this verse:

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Eph 2:10 NIV)

Working. I love the idea that we are God’s handiwork. A long time ago, God told me, “Child, I did not create you, I AM creating you.” You see, God does not make us then step out of the picture and leave us to our own devices. God not only created life originally, but He continues to work with each of us, to shape us, to guide us, to inspire us to become everything we were ever meant to be. Working is a pleasure for God. As our Loving Father, it is His joy to reach out to us and teach us what true fulfillment is all about. As Sovereign God over all things, it is His delight to work all things together for our good. As Divine Comforter, it is even His great happiness to listen to our complaints about our occupation or lack of one. Why? Simply because we are sharing our hearts with Him and that above all else, gives God immeasurable pleasure. We are His handiwork. He desires to keep working on us and with us to bring peace and joy into this broken world and when we turn to Him with complete honesty, we open ourselves to cooperate with His Plan. God loves to work and so should we.

Working. I love the idea that we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Working is part of the reason why we are here. Of course, it is not just any type of labor that will bring about fulfillment for us. It must be “good works” because that is what we are created for. What does that mean? It means we must work with God to find our place in His Kingdom. We must cooperate with His Plan to bring healing and reconciliation to this fallen world. We must labor towards encouraging one another, serving each other’s needs, and helping one another have, enjoy and share the Abundant Life. Good works is simply any kind of deed that brings peace and joy into the hearts of others. It spreads love and patience. It inspires unity and harmony. In short, good works reflect our Loving God. These good works make this life fulfilling because it is what we were created for. Of course, we cannot reach this perfection apart from Christ Jesus. It is only IN Christ that we will know what we are meant to do. It is only IN Christ that we will have the strength to do it. It is only IN Christ that we will be able to love, have peace, express joy, remain patient, display kindness, act with goodness, stay faithful, be gentle and possess self-control. (The Fruit of the Spirit Gal 5:22-23) We are being transformed into His Image, and we need Him as both our Standard and our power to imitate that Standard. But God loves to work with us and we should love to work with Him.

Working. I love the idea that God has prepared in advance all the good works for us to do. It is not that we have no choice, but rather, that our Omniscient God already knows what we will choose and has planned all the details for us already. All we really have to do is obey Him each and every step of the way, trusting in His Way, His Timing and His Plan. Simple, right? Right! It is part of our job to come to Him so we can know what we should do. It is part of our maturing process to surrender our will and follow His Will instead. It is part of our journey to trust Him when we have no idea what we are doing. It requires our time, our effort, our resources…but it is the greatest work ever known. To discover WHO we were always meant to be and use our gifts to love God and others is the sweet spot that makes this life overflow with all that is good. And this is what we each truly desire. Working for something you love is called passion and that is how God wants us to live our lives. God loves to help us perform good works and we should love to find this work too.

Working. What was never meant to happen is that working becomes all about getting what we want. Working is supposed to be about serving and helping others, yet sometimes we see it as a necessary evil just so we can be able to go to exotic places or buy more toys or achieve some kind of higher living or… or fill in the blank. This is probably why “work” does not bring us the fulfillment it was meant to bring. We, as sadly is the human norm, are looking at things from the MMI perspective. What can my job give ME? How will working here bring ME peace and joy? When will this occupation provide for all of MY needs? Work can only be fulfilling as we remember we are working for a higher cause, for something bigger than ourselves. This has been my struggle all summer and I am finally understanding my discontentedness with my current employment. While I am so happy to have any job, it is simply not where I want to be at this point in my life and so the complaints have been pouring out of me! But I truly believe it is what God desires for me, so I have a choice to make: either I continue to moan about it or I find the purpose and joy God wants for me in the circumstance. As I forget MMI and begin to truly serve, I am finding my joy return. I am feeling that fulfillment once again. I am sensing that peace which cannot be explained. Nothing has changed, and yet everything has changed because I remember, not just a nice idea, but the Truth that I am God’s handiwork created in Christ Jesus to do good works which He has prepared in advance for me to do. As we work together to love one another and provide for each other’s needs, “work” becomes less work and more the pleasure it is supposed to be…and we become more and more like our God Who loves to work. Work. It is part of the Abundant Life. Do you want that? Then won’t you join me?

Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think…

<>< Peace, Diane

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