Not By Us

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Ephesians 2:8-10 You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives. 

This is the message of the gospel, “God freely gives grace to us.” Receiving something for nothing is hard for us to do. We want to have to earn a gift, earn favor, earn respect; but that is not how God works. God freely gives grace, or does he? Grace has come at a cost, the death of Jesus Christ. So giving grace to us may not cost us anything, but it cost God greatly. He lived this life as a human to show how we are supposed to live, and people put Him to death. But that is not the end of the story! Jesus Christ walked out of that tomb three days later because death cannot keep God contained. His life, His presence is too powerful that it cannot be kept silent or locked up. There is so much power, so much grace, so much love from God, that He wants nothing more than to lavish His people with this amazing gift; and we do not have to do anything except accept the gift and allow it to change our life!

I believe God gives us this gift freely, and without and human earning, is because He knows how pride can and does destroy the fabric of how society ought to live. He knows that we cannot handle trying to earn His grace because we would all think we are better than the person next to us; when in reality, we are in the exact same position as them. This levels the playing field so that we do not think, or are not supposed to think, we are better than anyone else.

Living in and accepting in God’s grace means there is some work to be done. Each of us has been gifted with this grace to do works that God has lined out for us. We are all working toward a common goal, to work with Christ to show people the Kingdom of God, but each of us has roles to play and parts to work in. It is through these works that God’s light shines through us and we remember what God has done in us and through us. This makes us God’s accomplishment.

God knows we will mess up and turn away from Him at different parts of our life, but when we are doing what God calls us to do, God is proud and can revel in His masterpiece, His handiwork which is you and me. You may not feel like a masterpiece at times; but remember, it takes time to become the perfect instrument, or to play with perfection. You are an incredible person!

#TheGospelChangesUs

Published by

Ryan Stratton

Ryan Stratton is a pastor in the Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. He serves with his wife, Amanda, along with their children. He writes about life, faith, and leadership through his blog.

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