Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | October 10, 2014

October 10, 2014 “The Director”

“Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.” (Ephesians 2: 7-10)

Good Morning Fellow Prayer Travelers!

On more than one occasion, I have mentioned here and other places that while a high school student, I had opportunity to play the lead role of Harold Hill in Merideth Willson’s production “The Music Man.” As I read this passage from The Message Bible this morning, a passage with which I am quite familiar, it struck me that hearing me talk about my starring role in that musical so many years ago, one might come to the conclusion that I, and I alone, was responsible for the show’s success! I realize that most everyone would know this not the case, but to hear me tell it might lead others to believe that I felt that way! Reading this verse humbles me…as well it should…and not merely in regards to my role in a little-remembered high school production from 1967. Yes, I played the lead role on stage back then, but only because the director of the musical chose me from dozens of other equally-qualified and talented young men for that particular role. I didn’t play the major role in that decision…the director did. But to hear me talk about it, it was if it were all me!

In the great scheme of things, this is a rather isolated and insignificant event, but on the spiritual stage, it is far more weighty. Paul addresses the subject of God’s amazing grace with the new Christians of Ephesus. He speaks of their salvation in Christ and because of Christ’s mercy. He reminds them, and us, that their salvation is not something earned by them. It is not a wage paid for services rendered or awarded because they, or we, are more deserving than others. Salvation is all God’s doing, from start to finish. The verse that really struck me was, “We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing.” That’s what I did when it came to playing Harold Hill! And just as that character I played told the folks of River City, “Ya got trouble, my friend”, believing that salvation is something earned or deserved or that God is obligated to provide, leads one to an attitude of entitlement and superiority. The fact is, as Paul notes, “God does both the making and the saving.” Our proper response, rather than being one of pride should be to do those good works for which God has prepared us. Our proper response is a faith response…faith in that amazing grace. Reformer Martin Luther wrote,

“Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace, so sure and certain that a man could stake his life on it a thousand times.”

Any boasting we do should be boasting in Christ and what he and He alone, has accomplished. God is the director. We perform at his pleasure and for his purposes, and in doing so, receive His unmerited favor…His amazing grace. Let’s pray!

God of Grace and Glory; You alone are worthy of praise, and I do praise You this day for choosing me to be a recipient of Your unmerited favor. I thank you, O Lord, for the salvation that is mine in Christ Jesus, my Lord and my God. Amen!

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