Devotion: God Prepared You

It’s the month of May.  Around here we will not only celebrate the graduation of our Seniors as they matriculate on to their next adventure, but many of the local Lutheran congregations will also be celebrating the Confirmations of their junior confirmands.  As usual, a Bible verse will be chosen or assigned to the confirmands to give them encouragement and direction as they live out their faith.  

One of the most popular confirmation verses over the years has been from Ephesians 2:8-9. (Maybe you know it by heart – “For by grace you have been saved through faith….”).  The very next verse however is the kicker – “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

God prepared you.  Just think of all the things that had to happen to make you – you.  (You have over 2 million great-grandparents if you go back just 20 generations – or 500 years. Add another 1500 years since the time of Christ and the number jumps to 2.3 quintillion “events” that make you – you).  However, it’s not just the genetic composition that goes back to Adam & Eve – but also the personalities of your parents and grandparents, the friends that you hung around with and the SCHOOLS that you attended, the teachers and pastors that taught you, the shows you watched and the books that you read.  We are reminded that “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those called according to His purpose…”  

So, what IS God’s purpose for your life?  Is your purpose to simply live a comfortable and shallow life for yourself?  A recent survey reports that 84% of Americans believe that “enjoying yourself” is the highest goal in life.  91% say that to “find yourself” – look within yourself.  That’s a lot of narcissism there.  Is that what God has prepared you to do?  No.

God’s calls us to look outside ourselves.  St. Augustine wrote that “our hearts are restless until they rest in God.”  A loving God created man “in His image” so that man could respond to God’s love.   The work of Saint Paul Lutheran High School was / and is part of that preparation.  What good is being prepared though if we cannot – or will not discern what we are prepared for?

You are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good – works.  How’s that going? The bad news is that we can ignore our calling, and listen to cultural voices that entice us into navel gazing narcissism.   The good news is that the God who created us for eternal purposes is also the God who makes it possible for our foibles to be forgiven.  We get to repent and then start over every day.

So, what will it be today?  May I be so bold as to suggest that your alma mater – Saint Paul Lutheran High School is one of those areas that exists to continue to prepare young people to declare Christ to a dying world.  You have experienced part of God’s preparation here and it should not be too painful of a thing to give back – now that you have the means to do so.  We covet your prayers for our faculty, staff and families.  We ask you to encourage students to join us, and we ask for your financial support.

For those who have discovered their divine purpose, God’s word encourages you. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.”  Ecclesiastes 9:10

 

Prayer:  Dear Father in Heaven, your love for us knows no bounds.

Give us the courage to discover and live lives that respond to Your love.  Amen.