YOU WERE CREATED FOR GOOD WORKS

Read this great testimony by Nathaniel Oliveri—Founder and CEO, The Normal Christian Life. It will encourage and challenge you at the same time. It certainly did me. The testimony is based on this amazing Scripture.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”Ephesians 2:8-10

“I just love how this Scripture builds to a climactic cliffhanger, as though heaven is awaiting our response. After establishing that we’re saved by grace and not by works—but that we are created for good works, it builds this profound picture of God preparing works beforehand.
Think about it: the God of heaven literally preparing hearts, events and situations before we even walk into the room or pass that by person or make that phone call. Then the Scripture peaks with this profound statement: “that we should walk in them.” Walk in what? The works! Which works? The works He has already prepared for us!
You mean, we have a choice? Yes! It doesn’t say, “you will walk in them.” It says “you should.”
The stage has been set by Heaven, prepared beforehand. And now we have a choice to partner with God Almighty. So, what does that look like? I’m glad you asked.
I am, of course, growing in this myself and I haven’t yet arrived, but here is an example from my life in the last week that encouraged me, and I pray it will encourage you too.
So, last week I was picking up some carpet squares from a church that was moving location and selling many items. As I was putting the carpet squares in the car, a lady walked past with someone from the church. She had seen some items on the internet and didn’t even know this was a church. She asked me about the carpet squares and I sensed she may not be a Christian so I asked her a simple question. Are you from this church? She said “no”. So I said, ”Well then, I get an opportunity to tell you that Jesus loves you!”

The church staff member looked surprised that I even mentioned the ‘J’ word to a stranger. But, at that moment her eyes shot open. “My ten year old son just said while we were driving here, “Mum, do you think Jesus is real?” I then prodded cheekily, “And do you?”


“Well, I’m not sure,” she replied. I went on, “Well, what do you think the chances are of me telling you about Jesus just moments later?” To this she agreed that the timing couldn’t be a coincidence, and this in turn led to her inviting me to share the Gospel and pray for her and her son. They were deeply impacted, and I gave them some video links from our YouTube channel The Normal Christian Life.
The kid was excited because he was meeting a “YouTuber” in his words, and seemed keen to watch the videos. Now, they didn’t give their lives to Jesus there and then, but I know seeds were planted. But what struck me was how God had prepared their hearts just moments before I shared with them, even allowing her boy to ask such a specific question about Jesus, just before they arrived.
I wonder how many amazing works God has prepared beforehand for you today. What a blessing to be able to partner with Heaven and respond with our free will and walk in them.

Prayer

Lord, today, help me to draw close to you in my prayer life and in my day-to-day life. Help me to be sensitive to your prompting, and help me to walk in the works you’ve prepared for me. Lord, thank you that you love me and value me enough to make me a part of Your story. Show me today the people you want me to reach. Prepare their hearts and help me to be bold and obedient. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

CHURCH IN THE END TIMES

“Realise this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” (2 Timothy 3:1-9)

NOTE WELL: “holding to a form of godliness although they denied its power.” That line is not a description of the world; it is of a faithless, powerless, fruitless church! The light went out in the Church and the world got dark.

Image result for picture to illustrate Jesus is the light of the world

“If the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” (Matthew 6:23)

One of the most destructive lies preached in many churches today is “In the last days the church will get brighter and brighter while the world gets darker and darker!

God’s word does reveal good news about the end times darkness and one of my favourite Scriptures in this regard is in Isaiah.

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples; But the Lord will rise upon you and His glory will appear upon you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness
of your rising.” (Isaiah 60:1-3)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16

We need to consider how we can serve others in extraordinary ways. How can we do ordinary things in extraordinary ways? Perhaps for business people, it is how you serve your customers. Workers how you go the extra mile for your boss, so that he asks you why you are doing it, and as a result you have the honour of bringing glory and honour to your heavenly Father.

Maybe this will light up the darkness, illuminate cities and shift atmospheres? Might it be that meeting the simple, felt needs of our cities in extraordinary ways is what will drag communities out of the cesspool of despair into the wellspring of hope?  I believe it will! Jesus told us “this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:14

 

EMPOWERED BY GOD TO DO GOOD WORKS

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

“God will do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all that you can ask or imagine, according to the power at work in you.”  Ephesians 3:20

You are still on this earth because God still wants to use you. Moreover, God’s Word says, you have not because you ask not.  Why would you settle for a little of God’s goodness, when He says, He will do exceedingly abundantly above and beyond all that you can ask or imagine?

Jesus made it possible for your Heavenly Father to send the third person of the Trinity to indwell you, to empower you.  He is your counsellor, comforter, teacher and guide. Allow Him to guide your every step. However, it will require you to continually say as Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane; “not my will but Your will be done”

If you allow Him control, He will produce the fruit of the Spirit in your life: love, joy, peace, patience, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control.

You can only minister effectively if He makes the gifts of the Spirit available to you; words of Wisdom, a word of knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment of spirits, speaking in tongues and interpreting tongues. Distributing these gifts as He wills to accomplish the work God has called you to do.

Are you operating in the power of the Holy Spirit or are you quenching His work in your life and grieving Him?

Sadly, I lived many years of my Christian life not truly understanding the Holy Spirit is a person and that I could quench His work in my life and grieve Him. Nor did I understand His role, to empower me to live the Christian life, as mentioned, He is the one that produces the fruit in our lives and He is the one that provides the gifts to enable us to do ministry. His role is to make us like Jesus, to make Him fully known to us.

It was only when I came to realise how wonderful it is to work with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to guide and direct my life did I start to truly to enable His Kingdom to come.

Note both of my books; Build a Kingdom Business – Empowered by the Holy Spirit and Living Eternal Now – Empowered by the Holy Spirit acknowledge the Holy Spirit’s role. Both are available as ebooks on Amazon. I produce paperback copies as needed, and only have Build a Kingdom Business available in trade paperback form. These need to be ordered directly from me at ron@bakb.com.au. AU$12.50/US$9.50 includes postage. The funds will be used for the ministry powerpointsermons.net so payment will be made by making a donation on this website. You can download one of the sermons at the same time but make sure you email me as well so I can post the book to your address.