This week I paid a return visit to What’s Best Next, the blog of Matt Perman, only to discover that since I was last there, Zondervan has released the book, What’s Best Next: How the Gospel Transforms the Way You Get Things Done. The following is adapted from the book and can also be read at source by clicking the title below.
What Does God Want Done?
Good works. What God wants done are good works.
We see this right in Matthew 5:16, where Jesus sums up for us the entire purpose of our lives:
“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
That is the purpose of the Christian life summed up for us in one sentence. The entire purpose of our lives—what God wants from us—is to do good for others, to the glory of God.
We also see this in one of the most important passages on productivity in the Bible—Ephesians 2:8-10:
“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.”
Likewise, Titus 2:14 tells us that Jesus
“gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”
And Jesus says in John 15:16,
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide.”
Being Fruitful in Good Works
Hence, good works are part of the purpose of our salvation. In one sense we have been doubly created for good works. God created us to do good works, as we see in the creation mandate in Genesis, and here we see that we are also re-created in Christ to do good works.
Productive things, then, are things that do good. Productivity always has to be understood in relation to a goal, and God’s goal is that we do good works.
Hence, we can define productivity in this way: to be productive is to be fruitful in good works.
Today’s song is by Keith Green and was suggested by the devotional reading.