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“Created in Christ Jesus to do good things”

August 5, 2023

Daily Scripture

Ephesians 2:4-10

4-5 However, God is rich in mercy. He brought us to life with Christ while we were dead as a result of those things that we did wrong. He did this because of the great love that he has for us. You are saved by God’s grace! 6 And God raised us up and seated us in the heavens with Christ Jesus. 7 God did this to show future generations the greatness of his grace by the goodness that God has shown us in Christ Jesus.
8 You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed. 9 It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. 10 Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

When the apostle Paul preached the good news in Ephesus, many people’s priorities and ways of life changed profoundly (cf. Acts 19:17-20). It was important for them to see clearly that this was not just the result of their own initiative, strength or willpower. They were God’s accomplishment (Greek poema), living out the kind of life God desired them to live. Paul, as passionate a preacher of God’s saving grace as ever lived, wrote that after we accept that grace, we do not live the same old way, but as people “created in Christ Jesus to do good things.” Our good deeds do not earn God’s favor—they grow in our lives as a result of God’s gracious favor.

  • John Wesley’s Second General Rule of the Methodist movement applied the idea that we are “created in Christ Jesus to do good things.” It remains vital to Methodists today: “By doing good; by being in every kind merciful after their power; as they have opportunity, doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all men.” * Does the phrase “doing good of every possible sort” spark your imagination to reach beyond conventional thinking about what is good? What are one or two “sorts” of goodness you can think of that Christ might be calling you to? To what extent have God’s priorities become, not just ideas you occasionally exercise when there’s a special church activity, but woven into “the way that (you) live (your) life”? How open are you to letting God continue to shape the way you live even the “secular” parts of your life—driving, shopping, business dealings, saving and investing, playing and watching sports, and the like?

Lord Jesus, I want to be your accomplishment, to be an example of what your spiritual craftsmanship can do in a human being. Please keep shaping and guiding me in all I do. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Anne Williams

Anne Williams

Anne Williams has served as a pastor at Resurrection since 2011 and is now the Resurrection Downtown Location Pastor. She loves to guide the process of reconstructing faith. She and her husband, Eric, raise two sons, Jude and Reid. Anne writes real, honest devotions about everyday life at

“Self-esteem cannot be relied upon when it is contingent on being a ‘success.’ It is a psychological rent that you can never stop paying. The second you notice signs that you might be less than, your brand yourself as not enough. So, you keep running on a hamster wheel of success, driven by a scarcity mindset, and the fear of being inadequate.” *

In this book, Dr. Smith explains the trouble with self-esteem, the concept that believing in oneself, one can do anything and make a success of themselves. In this mindset, our worth is based on our accomplishments. What happens when there is a failure, a fallow season, or a setback?

Paul’s words are such an encouragement because he reminds us that following Christ gives us an alternative. Our worth is in being a child of God, a recipient of grace, a vessel of His spirit.

But Paul’s words also challenge because we love to take credit for all we do well. Deep down we might fear what happens if for some reason our success dries up. To that fear, we can be reassured that any good we produce was simply God’s power working through us in the first place. You might question whether or not you can do anything you set your mind to. But please don’t question what the Almighty Creator might do through you.

* Dr. Julie Smith, Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before (p. 167).

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* From the United Methodist Book of Discipline at