These last couple of days, I’ve had the following verse from Ephesians on my mind:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (2:10)
The sovereignty of God offers so much comfort to me. I don’t want to be a “self-made man” — I know too much about my own sin and weaknesses to know what a disaster that would be. What this verse promises is that I am, and will continue to be, a God-made man. I am His workmanship — He has been molding me and will continue to shape me until the day I die. It’s one thing for God to create something new, as He did when He created the world. It’s another thing for Him to take what is hopelessly crooked, a lost cause, and renew and restore it to the glory that He intends for it. Furthermore, He then uses this jar of clay to do good works, which He himself had planned beforehand from the beginning of time (this reminds me of Psalm 139:16 as well).
I was encouraged to see this in my own life yesterday. After getting back from the New Orleans trip, I thought I had reset my alarm clock to daylight saving time. As it turned out, I didn’t check carefully enough, so I was nearly an hour late to Sunday school, where I was supposed to speak. I was tempted to make excuses (I was tired from the trip, my alarm clock was at fault, etc.), but the day before I had been reading Future Men by Douglas Wilson, a book on manhood and raising boys. Wilson had written about how important it was for men to accept responsibility for their failures instead of making excuses; at the time, I had been convicted of my own tendency to blame my problems on others. And the very next day, I was presented with another opportunity to excuse my own failure, but with Wilson’s comments fresh in my mind, I decided to take responsibility for it. I didn’t want to go to Sunday school at all, but after my roommate Matt called and asked me to come, I swallowed my pride and went. On the drive over, God really gave me an attitude check…I felt awful about being so late and didn’t want to talk about it, but He helped me realize that it was necessary to own up to being late and face the music, not to avoid discussing it. As a result (and because everyone there was understanding and merciful), I was able to worship God freely and without guilt in church.
I came away from church yesterday encouraged, my eyes fixed on Jesus, and I’m glad that I was late. It’s good to see how I am God’s workmanship every day.
I suppose I should note that the emphasis on the passage is not just the individual, but the entire church as the workmanship of God. I’ll hold back from commenting on that since I don’t really have anything to add, and it’s time for lunch.