Elena's Testimony

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God---not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10

So what exactly is a “good work?” Well if you had asked me 10 years ago, I might have answered something like, “It’s something nice that you do for another person” or, “It is an action that is pleasing to the recipient with no expectation of anything in return.” On the surface, those responses would probably work. But as Paul writes in Ephesians, you aren’t saved by doing good works. In fact, Paul says that we are, “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

When I finally began to have my “lightbulb” or “duh” moments, this passage in the Bible became evident in such a precise manner. Mysteriously, people began to enter into my life with specific needs or challenges that only the hand of God could comfort. Having been humbled myself and born again in the spirit, it was placed in my heart that the same level of comfort and spiritual guidance that these people so desperately needed, I too desperately needed, and it made us all one in the same…children of God.  Suddenly these people that were strangers before became my brothers and sisters through the love of Christ; and so I became the servant that I had been called to be all along.

Through brief encounters or newly developed relationships, I stopped doing what I thought would make my life complete and doing what God threw in my path to teach me completeness. And so I learned…and learned…and keep on learning. With prayer and action, all of the specific needs and challenges were met for each person that came along. And I now know, more than ever, that if we honor the authority of Christ and make ourselves available at any cost, God will use us to carry out his plans, the good works, “which God prepared in advance for us to do.”