“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.” (Ephesians 2:10)
The theme of giving was one the apostle Paul wrote about in his letter to gentile Christians in Ephesus. He called them to leave their old lives behind and embrace the new, saying that they were saved by grace. Out of this saving grace, he explained, flows our desire to “do good works,” for we have been created in God’s image and are His “handiwork”. We can spread God’s love through our everyday actions.
Of course, we don’t have to give material things to share God’s grace; we can show His love through many other actions. We can take the time to listen to someone when they speak to us. We can ask someone who is serving us how they are. We can stop to help someone in need. As we give to others, we’ll receive joy in return.
- What are some things you can do to show God to others?
- Who in your life has helped you see God’s love.
Dear Father, You created us in Your image, and we rejoice that we can share Your love and life. Help us to see the opportunities to give to others today.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
For believers, the foundation for loving others is because we’ve been loved by God. But loving others the Christ loved us doesn’t come naturally to many of us. In fact, aren’t we sometimes much harder on others than we are on ourselves? Knowing all of us share a common fallen human nature, however, can help us be more patient.
On our own, we’d all naturally live out the empty “ways of this world”-the kind of selfish, ugly lives that deserve God’s condemnation. This means none of us can take credit for any good in our lives. And it means that whomever we encounter, we can offer not only God’s truth but His love and grace.