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Whose Job Is It?

I can’t tell you how many times since I started ministering in counseling and discipleship I have heard a person say something like this:

“I need to make myself be a better Christian.”

(You could take out the word Christian and replace it with man, woman, dad, husband, wife, mom and on and on. I’ve heard all those.)

I heard it again recently and the Lord gave me this Scripture:

“…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

I was raised hearing how I could make myself into whatever I wanted to be when I grew up. My parents, teachers, and coaches all said this very sentence to me: “You can be the president of the United States or a ditch digger; it’s all up to you.”

While I appreciate that they were trying to inspire me to live excellently and be active in building my own future…..I do not believe that sentence to be true.

Let’s break down Ephesians 2:10, written to Christians by Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul.

“…we are His workmanship”

Who is the responsible party in this statement?

It says that we are His (God’s) workmanship or product.

It is God’s responsibility to make us into what He wants us to be, not ours.

Lest we think this means we are to be passive in our Christian life, let’s read on.

“…created in Christ Jesus for good works”

Who is the responsible party in this statement?

It says that we are created in Christ Jesus for good works. This means that one major reason God doesn’t just whisk us off to heaven when we are saved is that He intends for us to do good works in our remaining time on the earth.

According to Paul later in the letter to the Ephesians creating us is God’s responsibility:

“And you should put on the new man, who according to God was created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:24)

Let’s keep reading…

“…which God prepared beforehand”

Who is the responsible party for supplying the good works we were created by God to do?

It says that God has prepared or set up in advance the good works which we are to perform on His behalf.

In today’s Church there is a LOT of activity going on. There are tons of good things that could be done and many Christians and Christian leaders are DOING, DOING, DOING lots of things.

Many of them have adopted common business practices and simply mimic what other leaders do in hopes of accomplishing what the others have done accomplished. They seek to market God’s Kingdom as if it were some mere earthly commodity that has the added benefit of providing a free ticket to heaven when a person dies.

Their intentions are good but these are earthly systems; they can only yield earthly results.

It is God’s responsibility, not ours, to prepare the good works we are to do.

How do I know this?

“Then Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.’” (John 5:19-20)

Not even Jesus Himself worked an earthly laundry list of good things to do. Instead, He simply paid attention to His Father in heaven and did what His Father led Him to do.

Jesus is the firstborn of many sons (Romans 8:29; Colossians 1:15); we are the many.

The Father loves us just like He loves Jesus and He wants to show us what to do just like He showed Jesus.

Let’s read on in Ephesians 2:10:

“…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)

So far we have seen:

  1. that we are God’s workmanship – not our own.

  2. that we were created in Christ Jesus by God (not by ourselves) to do good works.

  3. That God (not us) prepared the works we are to do

How does Paul end this simple, yet profound sentence?

“that we should walk in them.”

Whenever we see “that” used in this way it is a purpose statement.

We could just as well put “so that” in that sentence. It signifies that what was said prior to “that” was “for the purpose of” whatever comes after “that”.

We could, then, read Ephesians 2:10 like this:

“…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand and He did all this for the purpose of giving us, HIS workmanship, a chance to walk in the works that HE prepared for us to accomplish.”

As I have studied and taught this verse over the years what has touched my heart about it is how personally intentional God is in the lives of every single Christian.

He has intentionally created us in Christ.

He has intentionally handcrafted us (workmanship).

He has intentionally prepared the good works He has for each individual Christian to do.

This is not a happenstance thing. Nor is it an impersonal “broad brush” action on His behalf…..making many Christians exactly the same.

No.

Each one of us is a unique work of God intentionally crafted for a one of a kind purpose. He is THAT creative.

When we all discern and practice (walk in) our purpose what emerges is what God calls His Kingdom.

God is personal and intentional toward us because He loves us.

As this has touched my heart I have chosen to respond by developing a credo for my life. Because I did not want to just dream up one for myself, I developed it by asking Father to GIVE me my theme for the rest of my life.

This is what I believe He gave me:

“I want to fully populate God’s intentions for my life.”

I hope what was written here will provoke you to appeal to the Father to reveal your purpose in His Kingdom.

There are no sub-kingdoms or competing kingdoms within His. If there were, these would be mentioned in God’s Word.

There are none in there.

There are just two kingdoms mentions: satan’s realm…..and God’s.

May we abandon our own timing, our own plans and, especially, earthly schemes which all, ultimately, come from satan who Jesus referred to as “the ruler of this world”.

Cry out to God. Seek His intentions for you in His Kingdom and fully populate your place in it.

May you walk in the good works that God has prepared for you and that He has prepared you to do.

Amen.

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, Texas

© October 4, 2016

(For use with permission)

©2018 by Mike McInerney Ministries