Last week I wrote a post about the fact that if any of our works are of hay they will be burned up intitled ‘Hay Bales Burning’. It centered around whether we produce works for the Lord’s Kingdom according to what He called us to do or are we only doing works according to what we want to do.
But this week the Lord convicted me about grace and the fact that I left it out of my teaching. Ephesians 2:8-10 says:
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
Even though our salvation comes completely by grace (undeserved favor) and not of our works, our grace and good works will become completely inseparable as we go on to live out our Christian lives. As the Lord pours out His grace upon us, we cannot but help to produce good works toward our fellow man. Read carefully the following Scripture:
What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror. How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? So you see, we are shown to be right with God by what we do, not by faith alone. Just as the body is dead without breath, so also faith is dead without good works. (James 2:14, 17-20, 24, 26 NLT)
As you have read the verses from Ephesians 2 and James 2 listed above, you can see that true faith, grace and works are inseparable. Think of our Christian journey through life as a row boat. Then think of one oar as ‘grace through faith’ and the other oar as our ‘works and deeds’. If either oar is used alone, we never go anywhere except in circles. It is only when we use both oars equally and in unison, will we go straight ahead living out our Christian lives the way God intended it to be!
Works should come naturally flowing out of grace, rather than being a labor. The following three verses beautifully sum it up that any work or labor we do completely stems from grace:
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NKJV)
So you see, it’s all about grace. Grace! Grace! Grace! The New Testament is filled completely with action words for us to do, but all of them action words, in reality, eminate from the Father thru His son Jesus Christ who have come to dwell inside of us:
Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we will come and make our home with each of them.” (John 14:23 NLT)
The Lord does not want us to stay idle only concentrating on the fact that it is grace. He just wants us to simply soak it up and enjoy it and in so doing, we will not be able to contain it, but it will flow out of us in good deeds. As we live and breathe the grace of God, we become His conduit to a dying World!