Ephesians 2:10a For we are his workmanship…
The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Ephesians can speak volumes of grace and purpose into the life of someone who has been there done that and come up empty.
Although taking a single verse, and even worse a part of a verse out of context is not recommended as the bible must be consumed in full reverence of the message each verse plays with its surrounding companions, in this case there is a fine point here that when reading Ephesians 2 it jumped off the page at me this morning.
We are HIS workmanship.
When I think about my childhood and the unfair treatment, or my adult life of unhealthy choices, desires and behaviors, the root cause was because none of us knew God. That alone makes it impossible for someone to truly know who they are and what they were created for.
So the lifetime of searching for purpose and value ensues, looking for love in all the wrong places, seeking self worth through all the wrong things, pursuing goals and dreams that had no lasting future or value. I was excellent at doing exactly what I set out to do, the problem was I was doing what the world said I needed to do with the talents God gave me, so my talents were misplaced.
God doesn’t make junk. People who are destroying their own lives and the lives of those around them are actually just accomplishing a wonderful job of doing the wrong things the best they know how. Just like we all did before He gave us sight.
I heard it said that you will never lock eyes with someone that Christ didn’t die for. That is a sobering thought. That ex-wife, ex-business partner, ex-best-friend who hurt you deeply, that parent or mentor who let you down; in most cases they are not inherently evil, they are just blind to the deep rooted truths that are found only in the arms of Christ that sets us free to carry out the good works we were designed for.
Until we know Christ, we can’t know true love.
Sure people can exhibit the behaviors, and get it right a bunch of the time. But a true unconditional sacrificial love that deny’s self in pursuit of service to even our enemies is not natural, it is supernatural.
Jesus washed the feet of Judas the night before his betrayal knowing full well what Judas was going to do.
As a recovering addict of any kind (sex, drugs, alcohol, shopping, food are all on my list) one of the hardest lies of Satan to overcome is the shame we feel. One can never find true freedom until we realize at the deepest heart level that we are created in God’s image, fearfully and wonderfully made, and no matter how long it takes for us to become aware that we are living wrong and how much damage was done in our past, when He opens our eyes we change. By His grace and redemption by way of The Cross we are forgiven and free in Spirit from that point forward.
Would you get angry and chastize a blind person for tripping and falling in your front yard and crushing your flower bed? Or would you feel compassion, help him up, make sure he was OK, and point him in the right direction and watch him as he resumed his journey to make sure he was really doing ok, not just taking his word for it.
For us, the sighted who has come to realize our own weaknesses without Christ and are pressing forward to carry out the good deeds God has placed in our path, the overwhelming battle cry must be grace. God helped us up when we were blind, and continues to help us up for we will always have some blindness, and He expects us to do the same for those around us who are still blind to the ways God wants to use them.
The blind have no control over their blindness, they are powerless. Let’s not persecute the blind but offer sight, light, salt, mercy, compassion, direction, hope, grace, forgiveness, peace, kindness, gentleness… LOVE.
A diamond in the rough is still a diamond. It could easily be tossed away on first glance for it holds little appeal from the outside. But God does not look at the outside, for He knows that His blood completely washes the outside layer of sin. away.
We too must know when looking over our own lives that our past sins are not what make us who we are. We have always been a diamond, we have just been buried and raw.
If you are on the path of recovery, if you are seeking a deeper more authentic relationship with Christ, if you spend time in fellowship with other believers and in God’s word. If you sincerely pray for healing and redemption, know then that you are already a diamond and your light is already shining. Stop regretting the past and live as the forgiven and free workman that God has created you to be. Know that you will not be perfect in this life, but we have been given the gift to show others their own inner beauty in Christ. That is what we were created for, to magnify and glorify our Creator God.
Paul explains it much better than I…
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Father God, that you would take a broken man dead in his trespasses and rise up new life. To offer hope, a purpose, redemption not through anything I will ever achieve but through the life, death and resurrection of Your Son so that we may live forgiven and free is beyond comparison or comprehension. A love so great that says we are your diamonds in the rough and that until that last breath is taken there is always a chance that your truth can be revealed in every life. Help us this day Lord to be aware of Your workmanship in us so we can move forward with loving and guiding others toward Your Cross so that you may work out the miracle in their life that you have done in our own. Your Love has no boundaries, may we rest in that and not some vision of our own worth apart from you. Selfishness seeks to destroy and you modeled pure selflessness. May that be what our focus is on today, a surrendered life free to carry out the good works you created us for. Thank you Jesus for our lives, all of it, easy and difficult, for it is the tests that bring life to the testimony.