Have you ever heard anyone say “God has a purpose and plan for your life?” Perhaps you have actually said it yourself. I have heard that phrase many times in my life and confess I have repeated it many times myself as well.
We usually use this phraseology when sharing the gospel. The two gospel information tracts I use most often begin with a statement that God has a plan for your life or God has a purpose for your life. This leads into an explanation of John 3:16. While it is true, God’s plan and purpose for our lives is that we accept the salvation He offers through His Son Jesus, this is just the beginning point of what God has in store for us as believers and followers of Jesus.
Another time that this idea of God’s plan or purpose for your life comes to the forefront is after a major crisis in a person’s life. I have had dozens of people throughout the years tell me after they have had a brush with death, a lengthy illness or hospital stay, emergency surgery, heart attacks, and bouts with cancer, etc. that they believe “God has them here for a reason.” They then begin to make promises about what they are going to do as soon as they get better. Unfortunately, many of these promises are short-lived after the crisis is averted.
The third most frequent time I hear people talking about God’s plan or purpose for their lives comes from times of decision making. This may include a call into ministry, a career choice or job change, I also hear it very frequently when people are trying to determine “what God’s will is for their life.” They know God has a plan and purpose, they just don’t know what it is.
This year, our VBS theme is “Maker Fun Factory: Created by God, Built for a Purpose.” The goal is to create an environment, according to Group Publishing, “where curious kids become hands-on inventors who discover they're lovingly crafted by God.”
Most of the scenarios I mentioned above, with the exception of salvation, are dealing with older youth, young adults, and older adults. They seem to struggle the most with finding God’s plan and purpose for life. They understand the part of salvation, but it’s the daily walk afterwards that trips them up.
The Apostle Paul is addressing that very issue. In the previous verses, he sets the record straight that we are saved by grace through faith and not of works. It is the gift of God. But once you are saved, what’s next? He tells us “we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” We are saved and stay saved by grace through faith, however, we are created for good works.
The word “workmanship” is the Greek word poiema. We get our word poem from it. It means anything created, a product. Literally is means a fabric. The NIV translates it: “we are God’s handiwork” and the NLT states: “we are God’s masterpiece.”
Wow. That means that God uses the literal fabric and make up or our lives, our passions, interests, talents, and abilities, in addition to His giftedness to “do good works in Christ Jesus.” So ultimately, the answer to the question of “what is God’s plan or purpose for my life” is answered by allowing Him to work in, and through us to do good works in His Name.
See, it’s not about coercion or promises in a crisis, or some vague idea of God’s will in some far off or far away place. It’s about looking around and seeing stuff that needs to get done that you have the time, energy, and ability to do for Him.
It’s like any other work project. You must read and follow the instructions (the Bible) and you have to commit to doing step one (salvation), before moving on to completing the project of your life (the day you die).
May RoS be a church that is truly God’s Masterpiece in our community.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.