“All these people were still living by faith when they died”

Ephesians 2:10  “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

You know a major theme of chapter 2 is that we live our lives as if they will go on forever.

They won’t.

We know that, but we push those thoughts out of our minds because it is too sad to think about.

Why think of our mortality all the time?

Because it may create within us a sense of urgency and maybe it is good to have that.

No sense of urgency may lead to a wasted life, as A.W. Tozer says, “A man by his sin may waste himself, which is to waste that which on earth is most like God.  That is man’s greatest tragedy and God’s heaviest grief.”

What about those days when you are just not in the mood to do good works?

What about those conditions of the mental and physical body when mentally and physically you are worn out?

Does God say “take the day off.”  Does God say “you are ok to check out; you don’t have to do anything; I will give you a pass.”

I don’t think so.

We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.

Pastor Chan speaks in the video that accompanies this chapter about his quiet time with the Lord.  He treasures it.  He longs every day to have it.  It is hard because he needs to clear his mind of other things because other things impinge on his thinking so much.  But he needs his quiet time because he needs God to tell him what to do.

Let me suggest a dangerous thing for you to do every morning.

Don’t do this if you approach it like it is just an exercise.  If that is the case, it will mean nothing.

Pastor Chan does it and I have done it.

When you have quiet time with the Lord in the morning, ask Him to show you what to do today.  Even more, ask God to use you.

You must be careful, because He will.

He will position you where he wants and needs you and some of the situations He will put you in will make you uncomfortable.

But that is ok.

God does not want you to be comfortable.  God wants you to grow.  God will lead you throughout your day, guiding you where you are supposed to go, showing you what He wants you to do.

It’s God-directed life.

Don’t let your mood get in the way of this God-directed life.  Don’t let your mental and physical infirmities get in the way of this God-directed life.  He will use you no matter what you have to offer, no matter how weak you are or how strong you are.  Remember, ”you are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.”

But what does this do?

It will create a sense of urgency.

None of us knows when our time will come.

None of us knows when we will be meeting God face to face.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to leave this world doing God’s work?

This past week, we were all shocked by the tragedy in Charleston S.C., but those nine people met God while attending a Bible study.  It may sound strange but what a blessing to die in those circumstances.  Just think about what they were doing when God took them.  They were actively trying to learn more about Him.

I believe God honors that.

They got up the morning of their death and none of them thought, “This is my last day on earth” but it was.

As I watched part of the funeral services for Pastor Clementa Pinckney today, I was struck by the sadness of the ceremony but I was also struck by the gladness of the ceremony.  At times, there was a profound confidence that God was working it all out.  Shouts of joy rang out.  Smiles broke out from time to time.  I even heard laughter.   The ceremony was respectful but there seemed to be knowledge that Pastor Pinckney was a man who allowed God to work through him.  The other eight were God fearing people who welcomed their killer in their midst, allowing God to work through them.

Hebrews 11: 13  “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.”

“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.”

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