Empowered by grace

There’s a passage in the Old Testament that really inspires me.

Exodus 31:1-6, Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: “See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works, to work in gold, in silver, in bronze, in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of workmanship.

“And I, indeed I, have appointed with him Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan; and I have put wisdom in the hearts of all the gifted artisans, that they may make all that I have commanded you:

God gaveBezalel and Aholiab the skills to be able to make the furnishings and ornamentation for the Tabernacle. God did not tell Moses that these men were born with the talent to do it, He said he put it in them. He filled them with the Spirit of God. To me this speaks of grace, even though the word Grace isn’t specifically used here. I see how they were taken out of the realm of the ordinary and mundane and given special gifts with which they could do what God needed to be done. I am reading the book, Relentless, by John Bevere and he tells how God has enabled him to be able to write books even though he previously had no ability to write.

That is what God does when we are willing. He can take someone who is quite ordinary and use them to do the extraordinary.

2 Timothy 1:9, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,

Ephesians 2:10, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Now I’m going to ask a question. Is ‘good works’ only doing charitable deeds? Does ‘good works’ only pertain to spiritual things? Or is it anything that we do? We live in the world and everything good that we do can be used to bring glory to God. If God gives you the ability to be a plumber, you could become the best plumber and in that way bring glory to God by your excellence.

Acts 18:1-3,  After these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth. And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them. So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.

Paul was a tentmaker. He used his hands, as did Aquila and Priscilla. They worked with their hands to earn their living. There are many examples in the Bible of people who worked and brought glory to God by their work. I believe we have to stop seeing our jobs as a necessary evil and start seeing it as something we can use to honour God. If we do our jobs to the best of our ability and acknowledge God we are going to stand out above unbelievers. That’s what we need to do. We cannot be mediocre at what we do while professing to belong to Jesus. In Deuteronomy 28 from verse 1 – 14 there is a list of all the blessings which we are entitled to. Will we be able to claim to be blessed if we are doing a really bad job of whatever it is we do? We have to call on the grace of God so that we can perform better than anyone else. If you are a salesman you should be the salesman of the year. If you are an artist you should be a celebrated artist. Do I make sense? If you have a hobby, it should bring you joy and you should do it well. We are not to stand down to unbelievers and believe that we are less because we are Christians. We are the children of the Most High God. We are anointed and blessed and we are headed for Heaven. How can we not prosper?

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