It is by grace you have been saved through faith – and that is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-9
We were created in the image of God as his covenant partners to engage in our life’s great work in and through relationships.
God has work for us to do! That is the clear message of Ephesians 2. We were created specifically to do the work that God has prepared ahead of time for us to accomplish during our years on earth. Our life has meaning, purpose and a job description. And God fashioned us for this work. We are his “handiwork.” Isn’t that amazing? God specifically designed and created you and me with the skills, temperament and make-up to accomplish exactly the tasks he prepared for us to do before we were even knit together in our mother’s womb. Incredible!
From the moment of our conception we were given a clear vocation that stays with us until the moment God calls us home. That vocation is to live fully as a child of God and a follower of Jesus Christ. Jobs may come and go, careers may rise and fall, but our vocation never leaves us. We bear God’s image in this world as we live out that vocation in relationship. Our Creator God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit; one God in three persons – dynamic, interdependent relationship in unity. We reflect the image of our triune God when we willingly engage ourselves in the relationships that surround us.
When we care for a sick friend, volunteer for prison ministry, encourage a coworker, give generously to our favorite ministry, plant a tree, and teach a Sunday school class we are reflecting God’s image in relationship. This is our work, our calling, our special privilege and our vocation. It is the purpose for which we were created and when we live it out we draw nearer to our Creator God than at any other time in our life.
What work has God called you to do today? How will you bear his image in the way in which you live in the relationships that surround you? If you are truly God’s “handiwork” what has that prepared you to do for him?
If our vocation is uniquely ours from birth to death, we should be sure we know what it is. Take a moment and write a brief job description that puts in your own words the vocation God created you to carry out. Remember, you are a child of God, created to love him and live with grace and truth in all the relationships that surround you. Use this thought along with Romans 8 and develop a brief description of your vocation. Then share it with 2-3 close friends and see what they affirm about you, and what you may add as a result of their input.
Gracious Lord, I am amazed at how uniquely you have created me. I lose sight of that so often. Thank you for reminding me that I am your handiwork. I am created for a purpose, carefully crafted for a role and a work that you have designed for me. Help me know what that is. Open my eyes and my heart to see clearly the vocation to which you have called me. Don’t let me miss this, Lord! I want to live for you; with all my heart, soul, strength and mind. Align my heart with your intention for my life and help me pursue it with my whole being. As I bear your image in this world, help me to live so that the world will really see you in the way live my life and carry out my purpose. I want to do the work you created me to do, Lord. Help me see it and do it with obedience and joy. In the name of my savior and lord, Jesus Christ. Amen.