November 15 – His Good Work First Then Ours

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)

While we read and think on this verse let’s be sure to notice that the emphasis is on God and His plans for us. It’s not on what we do for God but on what He does for us. ‘Good works cannot produce salvation but are subsequent and resultant God-empowered fruits and evidences of it.’1 When the verse speaks of our being created by God it really means our being born again – our re-creation because of what Jesus did for us. It is God who makes that happen and makes us His child and give to us eternal life. That makes us the work of God – we are His workmanship. ‘Like his salvation, a believer’s sanctification and good works were ordained before time began.’2 God has a purpose in this and it is that we will do what He gives us to do. We will tend to the work He gives us. Good works in our lives comes after His work in our lives. And all this was prepared and planned in advance. It is God’s plan that comes together for our benefit.


[1] [2] John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), Eph 2:10.

March 15 – Doing God’s Will Anyway

“Ah, Lord God! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you.” – Jeremiah 32:17 (ESV)

Our verse comes from the story in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. The prophet purchased a plot of land from his cousin even though the Babylonians were nearly at the gate of the city. The anticipation was that soon Jerusalem and all in the Kingdom of Judah would be conquered and taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar. This truly did come to pass so Jeremiah’s real estate purchase seemed fool’s errand. But it wasn’t foolish, because God had directed him to purchase this piece of land. Thinking through the wisdom of his legal transaction bewildered Jeremiah and he goes to God in prayer. Notice how he first extols the sovereignty of God. “Nothing is too hard for you,” is what Jeremiah says. He acknowledges God’s directions in buying the field even “though the city is given into the hands of the Chaldeans.” The promise that nothing is too hard for God is a promise we take to heart today. Whatever God leads us to do, if we know God is indeed giving us that direction, we can know its outcome will be what God intends it to be. Let’s trust God no matter what He has given us to do.


March 12 – Fulfilled Promises

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.” – Colossians 1:15-16 (ESV)

The promises found in our passage today might remind us of the verse in Genesis 1:26-27 where we find God decided and created male and female in His image. One of the meanings of the phrase “image of God” means that people are created as God’s image—or, as His imagers. This passage speaks of the incarnation of Christ—the eternal God becoming a human being and becoming visible for us. The Son of God, Jesus the Anointed One has existed from eternity past. He is the One who created everything that we can see and what we cannot see, and all things on earth and above the earth in heaven. All were created by Him and for Him, the Son of God. He came to live among us on earth, He lived a perfect life as a man without sin, all to complete and satisfy the promise made in Genesis 3. It was necessary for Him with His divine nature to take on a human nature to fulfill the promise of redemption for all human kind. We can embrace this promise because it is the way God made for us to know Him.