“God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds (most translations say “good works”), which he has already prepared for us to do.”
Ephesians 2:10 Today’s English Version (brackets mine)
Many people interpret the “good works” as holiness or certain actions that we should do. This can foster a legalistic mentality where we’re focused more on fruit than on the root; more on doing than on being. The truth is that God hasgot good works for you to walk in, but He is more interested in being than on doing. God is more interested in you being right because right being will produce right doing. A healthy tree produces fruit.
God has good plans for you. Plans of prosperity, peace and well-being – a future filled with hope! Jesus came that you might have and enjoy the abundant life found in Him (John 10:10). He has a plan for your life and that plan includes good works. I believe that there are two aspects to this. Firstly, He has good works for you to do. Hear me: He doesn’t love and accept you or reject you based on these good works. So, we don’t work for God’s acceptance or love; rather we work because we are accepted and loved by Him through Christ (Ephesians 1:6).
Before His baptism at age 30, there is no record of Jesus doing any miracles, or teaching anything to anyone. His ministry started after His baptism. In Matthew 3:16-17 it’s recorded that Jesus got baptised in water by John, and that as He came up out of the water, the Holy Spirit came on Him and God spoke from Heaven in an audible voice, saying,
“This is my Son, whom I love-my Son with whom I am pleased.”
Matthew 3:17 GW
God expressed His love of and pleasure in Jesus before Jesus did any work of ministry. After Jesus experienced the love and pleasure of His Father, He went on to change the world. Likewise, anything we do for God should be an overflow of us responding to His love and pleasure. That will empower it to be far greater than it would be if we did it out of a place of trying to be loved by God or to be accepted by Him.
God has already prepared good works for you to do, but He isn’t going to love you more if you do them. He loves you no matter what. When my children were born they didn’t do much for me – my wife and I had to do everything for them! But they brought me much, much pleasure, and still do! Even more so with your heavenly Father. God, your Dad, has great pleasure in you because you are His child. Receive His love and experience His pleasure of you, and the fruit will be that you do great works for God and you will enjoy it more than ever!