For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
I spent the last few weeks thinking about this. The picture that God brings to mind about how He prepares good works for us is like a cooking show. The ones where everything has already been prepared for the host. All the ingredients are chopped, portioned and beautifully laid out on the table and the camera pans over then while the host tells us what they are.
When they start cooking, they don’t reach for the pantry, grab the salt, measure out “a teaspoon of salt”. They just pour it out from a little bowl, already portioned out.
At the end, the host puts the dish in the oven and says, “here’s one I prepared earlier”.
That’s what our God does when we participate in His good work. He has done all the preparation, all the tedious laborious work, all the heavy lifting. And in the end, only His work will stand, he will say, “here’s the work of my Son prepared earlier”.