Devotion for the Week...
It should come as no surprise that I love making things. There's something wonderful about creating something with my own hands, about having a vision in my head of what that something new should look like and then seeing it become a tangible thing. If you make anything, then you know what I mean.
A couple of weeks ago I was reading devotions with the boys and came across this verse that has stuck in my mind ever since. "For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do" (Ephesians 2:10). We are His handiwork. Isn't that an amazing thought?
Okay, so I've known for a long time that we were created by God, but somehow thinking of myself as His handiwork feels different. Maybe it's because of the time I spend working on my quilts, or the time I know Dad spends on his carvings, or the time I see people on Instagram spending on their cross-stitching, knitting or crocheting. Making something by hand takes time and dedication. It takes a great love for the thing you are making.
God made me. He made you, too.
In the larger context, these verses are talking about how we have been saved by grace, meaning that we don't have eternal life because of the good things we have done, but because of the work God has done, through Jesus, to redeem us from our sins. In Christ we are made new, with a new purpose - "to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
We are all different, with different talents, abilities and interests. While I think there are things that God wants all of us to do (sharing the gospel and caring for others), I also think there are as many different ways of doing those things as there are believers. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that we are all part of the body of Christ, but we are all different parts of it, just as the eye and ear and foot are different parts of our physical body. Each of those parts is created to serve a particular purpose. In the same way, you and I have been created to serve a particular purpose in the body of Christ.
When I give someone a quilt, I love knowing that they are using it for
its intended purpose. Sometimes that means they hang it on a wall. Other
times they cover themselves with it while watching TV or reading. And
other times it means they lay their baby on it and it gets covered in
spit-up on a regular basis. Whether it was meant to decorate, keep them warm or give the baby some cushioning from the bare floor, it's great when the quilt is fulfilling its purpose. A quilt really isn't doing anyone any good if it's always shoved in a closet somewhere and ignored.
As believers, we are each God's handiwork, created especially for a particular purpose. If that is true, as this verse says it is, then the question we must each answer is: are we fulfilling that purpose?