For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works. Ephesians 2:10
My friend was waiting to pay for her groceries when the man in front of her turned around and handed her a voucher for £10 ($14) off her bill. Short on sleep, she burst into tears because of his kind act; then she started laughing at herself for crying. This unexpected kindness touched her heart and gave her hope during a period of exhaustion. She gave thanks to the Lord for His goodness extended to her through another person.
The theme of giving was one the apostle Paul wrote about in his letter to gentile Christians in Ephesus. He called them to leave their old lives behind and embrace the new, saying that they were saved by grace. Out of this saving grace, he explained, flows our desire to “do good works,” for we have been created in God’s image and are His “handiwork” (2:10). We, like the man at the supermarket, can spread God’s love through our everyday actions.
Of course, we don’t have to give material things to share God’s grace; we can show His love through many other actions. We can take the time to listen to someone when they speak to us. We can ask someone who is serving us how they are. We can stop to help someone in need. As we give to others, we’ll receive joy in return (Acts 20:35).
Dear Father, You created us in Your image, and we rejoice that we can share Your love and life. Help us to see the opportunities to give to others today.
For believers, the foundation for loving others is because we’ve been loved by God. But loving others like Christ loved us doesn’t come naturally to many of us. In fact, aren’t we sometimes much harder on others than we are on ourselves? Knowing all of us share a common fallen human nature, however, can help us be more patient.
On our own, we’d all naturally live out the empty “ways of this world”—the kind of selfish, ugly lives that deserve God’s condemnation (Ephesians 2:2–3). This means none of us can take credit for any good in our lives (vv. 8–9). And it means that whomever we encounter, we can offer not only God’s truth but His love and grace.