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This post is part of the series His Encouragement
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Welcome! Welcome, dearest friends, to His Encouragement: Biblical Inspiration for Your Thursday. Every Thursday, a few blogging friends and I will each bring you a Bible passage and a little hope-filled discussion. We pray that these Thursday posts help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
I was so excited about launching a new short series on Hospitality earlier this week that I was woefully unprepared for the arrival of Thursday. It seemed to sneak up on me when I wasn’t looking. Then, like a playful friend, it placed its hands on my eyes and asked: “Guess who? It’s Thursday! Time for His Encouragement for Your Thursday!”
As I sat at my desk this morning juggling two large web projects and a number of smaller tasks, I asked the Lord to show me what I should write about. (I use my lunch breaks for writing.) He brought to my mind one of the verses I mention in the Hospitality series: Ephesians 2:10. I love the imagery used here: “…we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works…”
But to fully grasp the point of this verse, we should read it in context so let’s back up to verse 8. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (vs 8-10)
Interesting how the apostle Paul is having to clarify to the believers in Ephesus that salvation is not dependent upon our ability to do enough good works to “earn” it, but salvation is a gift of God freely given through His grace. Then he immediately follows this profound, earth-shattering Truth with a gentle reminder that, even so, when we have given our lives fully to Christ, we will do good because that is the natural result of a heart consecrated to Him.
Simply put: doing good is not a requirement to earn salvation but the result of having received salvation.
Now doing good can come in so many different forms, but I want to share one very small yet powerful act of good that all of us — no matter our current situation — can do. Are you ready for it? This is going to blow your mind!
Yes, I really did just say smile.
If you don’t believe me, try this experiment. For one whole day, no matter how you feel, try smiling at the people you come in contact with. If you are comfortable, add a cheerful “Good morning!” or “Good afternoon!” to your smile. Then observe how your smile affects the people around you.
Earlier this week, I left the office a few minutes late and was afraid I missed the 4:35 bus. This meant I would either have to wait another 20 minutes for the next bus or walk the mile to my car, which would probably take 20 minutes. However, as I rounded the corner the very bus I needed was pulling into the bus stop. I jogged over just in time for the doors to open. I was so happy! Without even thinking, I stepped on board, flashed a huge smile, and said to the driver (probably overly enthusiastically): “Thank you!”
The driver was so thrilled. He replied: “What a nice smile! That is something we don’t see much anymore. Everyone’s on their phones now.”
The only other passenger on the bus was an elderly gentleman, and he quickly agreed. “That’s right. It is good to see a smile.” And when I stood to disembark at my stop, the elderly man said: “Have a nice day, Smiles.” The experience warmed my heart, too, and the moment I got to my car, I had to call my husband to share.
This morning when I entered our building, I greeted the security guard with a smile and a bright: “Good morning!” He, too, was thrilled to see a smile and have someone actually speak to him instead of walking right by as if he was invisible.What often makes the most difference in the lives others are the little, seemingly insignificant yet immensely powerful, acts of kindness we do on a daily basis. Like smiling and saying hello. #kindness #smile Click To Tweet
Sometimes good works are great deeds, but let us never forget that often what makes the most difference in the lives of the people we interact with on a daily basis are the little, seemingly insignificant yet immensely powerful, acts of kindness. When we have given our hearts and lives over to the Lord, even though we may have ups and downs, we allow the Holy Spirit to transform us from our sinful selves into a reflection of Jesus. (Galatians 5:22-24)
And, yes, sometimes all it takes to show the love of Jesus to someone is a simple smile.
Be sure to also visit my fellow bloggers and read their encouragement for your Thursday as well:
- Trisha of Joy of Reading
- Nicole of The Christian Fiction Girl
- Jessica of A Baker’s Perspective
- Becca of The Becca Files
- Jenny Lynn
- Gina of Stories by Gina
- Rev. Rebecca Writes
Are you in the market for a new Bible?
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Continue reading this series:
His Encouragement: The Lord holds their hand