Thursday, August 13, 2009

Planned Work for our Joy

Eph. 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Sorry I have missed a couple of days. It is not that I have not been wanting to write, but have been busy with so many really good things. My heart really is overflowing, so much so that I just have to shake my head because I am not sure why God has given me so many blessings.

I was talking with the small group last night and just thinking about the events in each of our lives that make up the fabric that we are today, and useful to God for the work He has called us to do.

I'm a person who moved all over the US and even Japan and finally landed in a tiny place in SW Washington to meet my sweet wife, who really never moved from that town her entire life. All the things that make her who she is and all the things that make me who I am and those 2 fabrics are knitted together to make another very unique fabric that God adds 3 kids into, and then maybe another from an entirely different fabric, all to make 1 fabric that He will use for His glory. Makes me just scratch my head in amazement.

Another thing that I have been thinking of in conjunction with this passage is that God, from eternity past, has created work for us, each one of us, to do. So from eternity past God knew that I would have a small group last night and that we would talk about what we talked about. He knew I would be sitting here this morning and writing about this. 16 months ago I only typed out my sermon notes and that's about it. God knew that I was going to be a blogger long before there were blogs. I don't know why I am so inclined to share with the world what is on my heart but I hope that He will use something in here to encourage or admonish someone who needs it.

It's the same way with our conversations every day. He will use our words to impact His Kingdom, but we must share. There is no reason to be nervous or scared when we speak, because He will not put us into a situation that HE can not handle. Not that we can not handle, but that He can not handle. He prepares the work for us to do, He gives us the opportunity to do the work, He equips us perfectly to do the work and then He gives us the strength and wisdom to go and do it. How freeing is that? All we have to do is go and do it and He will take care of the rest.

So, what are you going to do with your life? Are you wondering if you are in the right place right now? Are you wondering if your life should look different than it does, or if you should be doing something "more important" with your life? Well, know that if you are reading your Bible and praying for God's direction, He will lead you to that place and it might be that right now you are in the place that He wants you to be in for the rest of your life. He may not ever want you to move, but He does want us to be maximizing the opportunities that He gives to us. He wants us to be totally exulting in the place we are in right now, because that is where He has us doing the work that He has ordained from eternity past.

He may move in your heart to give you the unrelenting desire to do something else, but if and when that time comes He will give you the strength and wisdom to go and do what He has called you to do. There is no need to worry if you will be able to handle it; you can't. But He can and He will. So freeing.

Matt. 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

How can Jesus' work be easy and light, when it may cost us our life? Because He is the One who does it, not us. All we have to do is be a clean, empty pipe that just shows up and He will do the rest of it through us. Doesn't that take some of the pressure off? If He wants the work done, He has to work out every detail and provide all the strength and wisdom for us so "we can do it". If He doesn't work out every single detail then He doesn't expect us to do it.

So what should our attitude be in those situations? We are to have joy in every circumstance and the reason has to be because He provides everything for us to do it. How could we be grumpy doing the work that He actually is doing? We work for the King of all kings, He provides the employment and knows the perfect job, that fits perfectly into the fabric He has made us to be, and He tells us to be joyful in all things. It should be obvious that He will give us work to do that we love doing, because He does all that for us before we even get there.

So let's go and do it and have an absolute blast doing it. I don't know what He has planned for me day today, but it must be good. That doesn't mean there won't be trials, because the trials are what changes us to be the people who will follow closely. It means even if there are trials today, that they are going to be exactly what we need to be complete in Him.

Lord, may we delight in Your Law and in You. May we understand that you are the great Treasure. Please give us desires that are focused on You and Your people. Make us clean pipes that You might be glorified in us. Give us the boldness to go and do what You have called us to do. Give us joy inexpressible in the process that You would be glorified in the way we live our lives.


Ryan Hall said...

Good morning, Chuck!

I do find it awesome that we are doing the things that God planned before we ever existed. I am thankful for the life God has given me, and I will not waste it on myself. Jesus Christ died for our sins so we can live Christ TODAY! I say go hard for Christ in all we do.

And I am real excited about the work God has for us this weekend! It is going to be a blast. We may not know all the details but it will be exciting talking about what the Lord has been doing and anticipating all the BIG things He will continue to do in one28!

I was encouraged by you last Sunday and hope to share that with you when I see you again (Lord willing). Until then, you keep your eyes on Jesus and your heart on the gospel. Pursue the Way of Jesus and always have thanksgiving for all that He brings your way.

Chuck Weinberg said...

Yo Ryan,
God is so CRAZY GOOD. T. told me yesterday that I seemed giddy, which is certainly not anywhere close to my norm.
I am amazed at what He has done and is doing in and around our ministry and for sure it will be awesome to spend time with some of my best friends in the world talking about our good God.
It really doesn't get any better than this until we get to Heaven.
Thanks for your encouragement.