Sharing a bit of encouragement and inspiration outside of our regular Sunday Services.
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When Good Works and Faith Collided
Ephesians 2: 8&9
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
My upbringing and my faith in Jesus collided.
In my upbringing I saw people doing good works. They were nice people doing good things. Then there were people that went to church but I did not observe good things from them. They seemed to go against what I had heard in Sunday school. By the nature of who I am, and what I observed and felt, to be a Christian church goer one needed to do good things. I know I was not a good child and teenager, and it seemed the older I got the more trouble I got into. My life revealed the dark emptiness in what I did and did not do.
Then came the night I said out loud to Jesus that I was a sinner. I admitted to myself, and to God, that I was so deserving of God’s wrath and I asked Him to forgive me. Then I asked Jesus to come into my life and take control. It was in that moment my world changed, and the things I did changed.
My life of pleasing myself changed. I now wanted and desired to do what my Lord wanted me to do. I asked Him to lead me into truth and love. My life moving forward was doing what was right as the Holy Spirit showed me through His Word, and by the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
The good works that I did was out of Love for my Savior and what He showed me to do. Every step was a step of faith. I discovered it was not... I must be good now, but rather my Savior guiding me in doing what He wanted me to do.
Jesus Christ brought me freedom to do good works by His Spirit and always through faith in Him.
As a follower of Christ I never had to process in my mind; ‘OH I must do this because I am a Christian’ or ‘OH I must do that because I am a Pastor’. The freedom I found was being open to His Spirit leading as I stayed in His Word, while walking with my hand in His.
The truth was that I knew God loved me and had a plan for my life. That plan was loving Him each day and being obedient to Him when He asked me to do something. I confess there were, and are many times, I struggle with what He asks of me, but I have learned His plans are always good. This is ‘faith works’ not ‘duty works’, because I am a Christian.
May you too discover the freedom in loving your Savior and finding ‘faith works’ as He leads you. It will free you of false guilt and bring glory to our Savior Jesus Christ