“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, this person is a new creation; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB
“The moment the focus of your life shifts from your badness to his goodness, the questions becomes not “What have I done?” but “What can He do?” John R. Claypool, Learning to Forgive Ourselves.
It’s a Wonderful Life is so popular because the main character, George Bailey, gets to see and experience life if he hadn’t been born. A privilege indeed! On the other hand, Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, experiences his tattered, selfish life and all the missed opportunities of a bitter heart. Both were renewed to become better. Their station in life didn’t change. They did.
Our Father tells us in Ephesians 2:8-10 that he prepared in advance the good works we do. Wow! Powerful! Affirming! Validating! A gift! Purpose!
Until the daily grind, the grouchy boss, the critical parent, the bounced check, the troubled child penetrates our heart and joy is gone. Poof! Empty void. Condemning voice. Good works?
Yes. Because our Father helps us with these challenges. He teaches us. He loves us. He pours grace all over us. And somewhere along the way, we get it. We see the good works our Father gave us in advance. We feel blessed. We feel validated. We have purpose. We see how our Father knows best. Then we help another with love, generosity and compassion.
We are either George Baily or Ebenezer Scrooge. We are the shamed Prodigal Son or the Prodigal’s stay-at-home, resentful brother. Blinded. But our Father opens our eyes and hearts through the Holy Spirit. True, it may be a book, person or article that gets our attention, but it’s not a coincidence. Little signposts, gentle voice, encouraging nudge starts our good works.
Thank you for giving us good works in advance. We have purpose. We grow. We overcome. We love. Remind and show us what we are to do today with the gifts you have given us for your purpose.