Not Saved by Works
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.Ephesians 2:8-10
The verse above says we are not saved by works, yet we are created to do good works. The Word also tells us we are to work so we can live, and getting paid for our work is ingrained into us. So it seems natural that we should be motivated to serve the Lord to receive our reward. Even God wants us to feel good after we have successfully completed a task. So how can we change our minds and our hearts to know that we are not saved by works but created to do good works?
We change by knowing that God looks at our hearts, which reveal the motivation to do good works and how much effort we put into doing good works. If you love me, keep my commands. (John 14:15) God’s love in our hearts motivates us to serve him. We show our love for the Lord by showing love and compassion to others. Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” (John 21:16) Three times Jesus asked Simon (Peter) if he loved him and Jesus said “feed my lambs, take care of my sheep, and feed my sheep.” Jesus is telling Simon that if he truly loves him, he will care for and bring the good news of Christ to the world. Peter revealed his love for the Lord and ministered to the world to his last breath.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (Colossians 3:23-24) When we give our best to the Lord and follow the Spirit to minster to others, the Lord changes our hearts by filling them with his love, because he knows we need a loving compassionate heart to minister to others. We must pray for a heart of love, for serving him the best we can and being a light to others changes our hearts.
When our hearts change, we realize that we are not saved by works because we don’t label serving the Lord as work. Instead we call it ministering to the world, which motivates us to continually learn, further preparing us to minister to others. But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, (1 Peter 3:15) Serving the Lord is continual growth through learning, knowledge, wisdom, patience, courage, listening, and ministering to others.
Today ask the Lord to motivate you toward good deeds through his love in your heart. Seek to see people as Christ sees people, noticing his love and compassion. Guard your thoughts because they reveal your heart, and capture every thought to the obedience of Christ. Live this day to the fullest and ask the Spirit for wisdom and patience.
Let’s Pray: Lord, fill my heart with your love and compassion, that I may see people through your heart. Guide my thoughts and words by the Spirit to reflect your love and wisdom through the choices I make today, choices in thought, words, and actions. I pray people will see Christ in me today. In Jesus name, Amen