For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship),
recreated in Christ Jesus,
[born anew] that we may do those good works
which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us
[taking paths which He prepared ahead of time],
that we should walk in them
[living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
Ephesians 2:10 AMP
Did you catch that? We are ‘predestined for…living the good life’! Not only has God prepared us to do the good works He planned before we were born, He also prearranged a good life for us. Psalm 16:11 HCSB states, “You reveal the path of life to me.” God reveals the paths He has made ready for us. We don’t have to earn the good life. We don’t have to work for it. It is a gracious gift from God (should we choose to receive it).
John 10:10 NKJV tells us Christ came so “…that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” In Jeremiah 31:12 NLT it says, “They will be radiant because of the Lord’s good gifts—the abundant crops of grain, new wine, and olive oil, and the healthy flocks and herds. Their life will be like a watered garden….” Not once does it mention that we must work to receive these blessings.
I love this quote from the Jamieson, Fausset & Brown Bible Commentary:
“Works do not justify, but the justified man works.”
Works will not save us. Works will not earn us the love of God. But works are something we do because we love God. When we carry out the good deeds God has predestined for us, it is a way of expressing our gratitude for the good life He has provided for us. In turn, God blesses us even more.
The Lord will open for you His abundant storehouse….
Deuteronomy 28:12 HCSB
I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles.
Zephaniah 9:12 NLT
Job was blessed more in the latter part of His life than in the beginning (Job 42:12). As if His abundant gift of mercy and grace wasn’t enough, God chooses to bless us even more. We cannot outdo God. His gifts are never ending!
Why does God give us gifts we could never earn or hope to repay? Because we are His handiwork—His masterpiece—born anew through the death of Christ on the Cross; which is the greatest gift of all. All because God loves each one of us more than we could ever imagine!