“For it is by grace that you have been saved, and this is not from yourselves it is the gift of God, not by works so that no man can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:8-10, NIV).
We have been created to serve! Not only so, but God has prepared the works in advance for us. Our salvation is not just something that we “sit back and enjoy”-although certainly we reap eternal benefits both here and now from that knowledge. Our redemption has a purposes: to bring us to the place where we can now do and be what God desires from us.
Each of us has been made for a purposes. Works have been prepared for us by our creator. The scriptures are full of encouragement to serve. Jonah is one of the more humorous and poignant of these stories. Rather than respond to the call of God to go preach to the Ninevites with “Here I am, Lord,” Jonah basically responded with “I'm out of here, Lord!” The story proceeds to tell the tale of how the Lord got Jonah back on track to accomplish the work that God had Jonah to do.
The good news is that, in Christ, God equips us with everything that we need, through the Spirit, to do what he has assigned for us. There is no need to “fret” or to doubt the presence of God to help us. If God has prepared the works for us to do, God will supply the energy, the power, the time, the ability, and the resources for us to do his work.
Today, we hear from our deacons about ministry opportunities in front of us. These are servants equipped by God to serve within the church and help involve us in God's work in the family. As we listen to their words, let us also be listen for how God would have us to be involved. Working together in the church is the way we grow strong in our faith and be about our “purpose.' Certainly there will be things outside the church family we are called to do that are of God as well, part of his purpose for us. But for today let us listen to what God has to say to us.