One of my favorite shows is “Renovation Realities” on DIY Network. It’s one where couples try to do major renovations on their homes themselves. It could be a kitchen or bathroom remodel (yikes!) or knocking out a wall to create a more open space (gasp!). The show is hilarious because most of these couples soon realize they’re in over their heads. As you can imagine, this causes some impatience, consternation and sometimes even anger. At some point (usually before they seek marriage counseling), they come to their senses and realize they need to hire a contractor. Once they do so, all is well.
I am not a good handyman. I enjoy fixing things around the house if it’s not too difficult or time-consuming, but I lack the skills needed if it’s really detailed or involved. Likewise, Cindy and I learned early in our marriage not to attempt some DIY tasks together (wallpapering being chief among these!). Like Clint Eastwood said in one of his movies, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”
Oftentimes, we try to DIY our relationship with God. We think we can overcome our shortcomings and failures by trying to earn our salvation. We may even have the idea that doing more things for the Kingdom will make up for our shortcomings. This is commendable, but it’s not a concept we see in God’s Word. In fact, we see just the opposite.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Jesus has already taken care of the major renovation in our lives. He died on the cross so we wouldn’t have to. He did the heavy lifting for us because He loves us and wants us to be in heaven with Him forever. So, if you feel the need to try to DIY your relationship with God—stop! Jesus has already taken care of it.
Having said that, we are to serve and to do good works on behalf of His Kingdom, but the reason we do them is out of gratitude and love for Him.
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
The best response we can have to what Christ did for us is to do good works in His Name. That’s the way God planned it long before we were born. We can’t DIY our way into heaven, but we can serve Him and others because Jesus has already done the renovation work for us. May we live and serve joyfully because of Him!
Created to do good works,