8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Verses 8 and 9 in Ephesians 2 set the foundation for understanding the following verse.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
The “we” in this passage refers to Christ-followers who have been saved by the grace of God. Those who have trusted in Jesus are God’s masterpiece. It is beautiful to see the work of God in the life of a person that has received grace. Grace has a powerful effect and works from the inside out. Once we have received the grace of God, we will be able to do the work God has prepared in advance for us. We all have struggles that have made us the person that God wants to use; he uses that pain to help others.
1 Peter 4:10
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.
God has entrusted all of us with gifts of time, talent, and treasure. Our time belongs to God, and we are all given a season on earth to do the good works that God has prepared for us in advance. A talent is a God-gifted ability and should be used to further God’s kingdom.
When we see a need that we have a talent for, we should step up to fill that need. When it comes to our treasures, which could be thought of as our finances, we should remember that God has provided everything we have. It all belongs to God. We are only temporary holders, or stewards, of it. We need to take the philosophy of give, save, and live with our money. This means that we need to first give back to God a portion of what he has given us, so we are faithful stewards of what he has entrusted to us. We should then save a portion so we can help others when needed. The rest of our money should be used for living. We are not owners of what we have; we are merely stewards. Everything I have comes from God and should be used to minister to others.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
The biblical model is one of giving, not getting. We are to be generous with what God has given us. The Bible encourages us to seek spiritual riches instead of worldly possessions. When we think about heaven, it should affect our perspective, priorities, and passion about how we spend our money. It is an investment in heaven, in eternal life.
Am I recognizing and being a good steward with what God has entrusted to me?
Am I faithfully investing in things that make an eternal difference?
Reflect on the Parable of the Talents that Ben talked about last weekend. Make a list of the talents you believe God has given you, and journal about on what you are doing with them—investing them or burying them in the earth. Choose one that you have been burying and take a step toward using that gift in a way that glorifies God.
Dear Abba Father, thank you for all the gifts I have been given. Help me to invest them in the furtherance of your Kingdom. Keep me focused on being a steward and not an owner. Through Christ Jesus, Amen.
This post was written by Jennifer Macke. Jenn is the Real Estate Manager for Hancock County. She has a son, daughter, granddaughter, and grandson, and she thanks God every day for them. She feels blessed to be writing for the LivingItOut. She was raised in an Evangelical Church, but her spiritual life awakened when she started attending CedarCreek.
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