I am preaching this morning and unfortunately I will not have time to share this story. This story illustrates the theme of my message “Adorning the Appearing” perfectly. Read this now to get a sneak peek to the purpose of today’s message.
Though the gospel I learn not only of the saving works of God on my behalf, but I also learn that one of God’s key purposes in doing these works is to put me to work myself.
The Bible tells me that when Christ redeemed me, He did so in order that I might now be “zealous for good works.”(Titus 2:14) When God “works” in me day by day, He does so in order to produce in me the desire and the power to “work for His good pleasure.”(Philippians 2:12) Indeed, though I am saved by grace and not by works, I am God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that I would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
Being naturally lazy, I do not normally thrill at the prospect of work; but the more I embrace the saving work of God on my behalf, the more I find myself embracing the works for which God saved me. And as I am “working hard” at doing these works for the good of others, I experience the truth of Jesus’ words: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:34) I also find myself saying with Christ, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:32-34) Indeed, gospel-motivated works do for the soul what food does for the body. They bring refreshment, enjoyment, blessing, and strengthening to the doer of the deeds, even more so than to the receiver. Hence, the fact that God has prepared such works for me to do becomes a part of what makes the gospel such great news to me.
Preaching the gospel to myself each day not only reminds me of the love of God for me, but it also reminds me of the love of God for the works that He has saved me to perform. When I see the Cross, I see the premium that God places on the works that He has prepared for me. How valuable all of these works must be if Christ would die so that I might now perform them! And how precious are those for whom these works are done if Christ would die that they might be served!
- Milton Vincent A Gospel Primer