"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good work, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them"
created in Christ Jesus for good work
The project that God is working on is within the boundaries of the embrace of Christ Jesus. He can do so much more with believers who will trust him and believe that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. It is like a master carpenter who knows well that some boards 'cooperate' while others 'fight' you.
The purpose of the work becomes of a higher calling. It takes on a redemptive purpose. It is overlaid with silver using an Old Testament analogy.
It is very important that the apostle adds in this place that we are not a workmanship for display only. We are not just a trophy of the love of God to be placed on a shelf somewhere to be admired. We are a workmanship created within the context and community of trust in God for the purpose of doing good works. This means that God has assignments; beneficial actions that we can perform when He is done. This means that He does not just want to display us, but He wants us to do some things. He wants us to complete some assignments. Our meaning comes from the completion of those assignments. We are to throw ourselves into the assignments that God places before us.
How will we know they are from Him? They are good works. The word good is the Greek word agathos, which means good, beneficial, useful, excellent. The idea here is clearly that there are truly beneficial things that we, as God's tools, are designed to do. We cannot allow those opportunities to pass by. These are not just small, little things but also society-changing things. These are not just hard difficult things but also easy simple acts of kindness.
If the church is going to act as Christ's body, then it is going to be ready for the opportunities of God to do good works.
for good works
We are being shaped to accomplish a particular good thing. God knows the flow of history and when certain things will need to be done and who will be in that exact spot with the capability to make a difference for righteousness. He knows the exact time when the good work must be done, so He must get us ready for that moment.
He will be offering us an opportunity to be the hero. He will give us the chance to have the respect, to change the course of history, to make a difference, to be key in at least one person's life. Do the good thing when you get there. Let God work on developing your skills and be a positive change agent in the life of other people.
God is looking for people who are willing to be shaped into tools for good works. Are you willing to be shaped or do you have a plan for your life and you don't want God messing with your plan? Sometimes people get hostile when God messes with their dream plan or God allows someone to block what you always thought you were supposed to do. Remember that God is for you. He wants you to be a success. But realize that His plan will be different than yours. It will contain more refining and more difficulties and more knowledge and skill acquisition than you will want to go through. But you become His workmanship -- His project when you sign up for the abundant life. Yes, you like Joseph may resent all the twists and turns His preparation takes; but it is necessary for you to be fully ready for the good work that He has in mind.
Never forget that you are not being asked what you want; you are being asked to surrender to God's plan for your life which will include a better plan than any other plan you could put together. What servant actions and loving things are you supposed to do today? What forgiveness and meekness does God want you to accomplish this week?