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Good Works

July 24th, 2009

“Good works, which God has already prepared for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 English Version

“A truly contented life is about doing the good things God prepared you to do.”

My thoughts today are about “good works.”

Too many people seem not to have a good idea of what their life is meant to be about. They are busy but not fulfilled, maybe even successful but not satisfied. Life is not just about doing good things or even things you are good at; a contented life is about doing the good things God prepared you to do. Have you given much thought for what that might be for you?

Just days ago, I spoke with a young man who had previously been very successful and financially prosperous in a job he did not enjoy doing. He was making a lot of money, but was not happy doing it. He is now preparing to go as a missionary – teaching in a Christian school in Europe at considerable financial sacrifice, and never more excited. I think the first part of his story is all too common; I wish the rest of his story were more typical.

Some years ago, Martha Stewart, apparently the culture’s final word on all things domestic, was known for her seal of approval on something by saying, “It’s a good thing!” Well, I have found good things are even better when you know “it’s a God thing!” You do not need to stumble around looking for what you should do, trying to find the things at which you are good. There is a divine assignment for your life. That’s where your greatest joy and satisfaction will be found.

That assignment for your life will be consistent with the spiritual gifts that God has placed within you. “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms . . do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 4:10-11 NIV. Your talents, skills, giftedness and interests will often reveal what God has been preparing you for all along.

What God has prepared for you, will involve serving others in some meaningful way. Sometimes you only discover where your gifts lie while in the process of serving the needs of others in Christ’s Name. Your God-given gifts and abilities are not for your personal benefit alone, but as a Godly means of contributing to the welfare and well being of others God will bring into your life. Use them for yourself alone and you will find them never to be enough – never enough to bring you the measure of joy and contentment God intends.

Every day bless someone by doing something kind and helpful without being asked or expecting anything in return. Jesus said that “giving a cup of cold water in His Name” would not go without its reward. See Matthew 10:42 NIV. Good works are rarely large and impressive things as you might presume; more often God’s works are found in the ordinary, simple, everyday things – a helping hand, a kind word, an unnoticed benevolence, a bit of time shared, a note of encouragement, a prayer on behalf of a friend, or sincere thankfulness.

My prayer for you today is to use your giftedness to serve God and bless others.

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