As this last work day of the week begins with such an incredible work week behind me, I look to God the author and perfecter of my faith, the creator of all things, who is never far away and yet goes before me preparing in advance the good works He has for me to accomplish and stands behind me to watch my back and walks besides me so that I can stay with Him and not fall behind or stop following. It isn’t about routines and rituals or else our works would do the trick. It isn’t about patterns and practices or our works would do the trick. It is all about relationship and walking out our lives with God! We know the law is summarized in two love statements: LOVE GOD and LOVE PEOPLE. We are God’s handiwork and as we read in Ephesians 2. So today, let’s take the gifts and talents God has given us and use them to the best of our abilities. Let’s live out our today to present God’s excellence through everything we do in grace and mercy as God has done for us.
The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar and Dr. Ike Reighard for January 8th
MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY: 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.’
POINTS FROM THE DEVOTIONAL:
- We’ve been given personalities on purpose, for purpose, with purpose.
- We’ve been given abilities on purpose, for purpose, with purpose.
- We’ve been given physical features on purpose, for purpose, with purpose.
- We’ve been crafted by God, we are His workmanship.
- We’ve been uniquely created by our loving Father, God, just the way He wanted to.
- Workmanship comes from the Greek word poiema – which is where in English we get the word poem
- What is poetry? Today’s devotional defines poetry this way “a beautiful expression of thought, carefully structured and meticulously worded. The meter of each line and the choice of each word come together to maximize the meaning. And these things don’t just happen by chance. They are the product of the poet’s skill, intention, and detail.“
- We see from today’s verse and devotional how God creates each of us uniquely, using His skills to create and shape our personalities, abilities, and physical features.
- He had created each of us uniquely for a purpose and so no two people created exactly the same.
- He created us on purpose with purpose for a purpose that He prepared in advance for us to accomplish.
- Ephesians 1:4 puts it this way: ‘just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, ‘
- That’s right, He prepared in advance, before the foundation of the world, the purpose, the good works He has for us to accomplish.
- Let’s keep our eyes on God rather than seeking selfish things.
- Let’s not allow pride to trip us up and cause us to fall because of the things we have been able to accomplish but instead point to God who prepared them all in advance for us to accomplish.
- Let’s not get blinded by our accomplishments and start to think too greatly of ourselves rather than giving the praise, the honor, and the glory where it belongs –> GOD!
- Let’s not lose hope when we feel like we are confused or unsure of our purpose either.
- The devil wants to manipulate and scare us from pressing forward and accomplishing the purposes God has for our lives.
- So as today’s devotional closed, let’s make sure to remember “God is the poet, and we are His poems.”
DISCUSSION TOPICS FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
How do you respond to the fact that you are God’s poem?
- In Aw
- With Aw
- Humbled that He is so interested in me
- Feeling love that He took so much attention to detail in order to create me for His purposes.
What are some ways that God has used you to accomplish “good works”?
- Get involved in my community by joining the homeowners association which led me to have to step up and become president because of the plan and good works He had prepared in advance for me to accomplish.
- Share the reality of the power of forgiveness by walking me thru betrayal and lies and bitterness and the downward spiral so that I could come out the other side as an ambassador for forgiveness.
- To serve the orphans of today by providing camps for foster kids and leading a camp for foster teens in order to show the love of God and how important and special they are.
QUOTES FROM TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL:
Today’s reading from Tanakh:
How will you use the gifts and the talents God has crafted you with? How will you accomplish the good works He has prepared in advance for you to accomplish? How will you share God’s grace and mercy with another chance? How will you be all that God created you to be and have courageous conversations? How will you fulfill the dreams God has given you? Will you be willing to write them down?
Were are you at today? Are you looking for guidance? Are you wondering where to turn? Are you at the end of your rope and needing help? Are you ready for some help? Are you ready to turn to God and ask? seek? knock? Let’s pray together.
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.—The Sinner’s Prayer
Did you pray this with me? Would you like to connect and discuss it with me? Would you like to make time to start your walk with Jesus? Do you have questions? Please let me know through the comment section below, through email, or even through text messages.