Ephesians 2:8-10


You’ve likely heard someone say that they are self-made. However, the truth in these words somewhat rings hollow. Whether they played a direct role or were in the background, there was always someone there to help us at one point.

And as followers of Christ, we are so far from self-made. God has called us to a much greater way of life. He invites us to live by words, not works.

When we enter the field of competition, what empowers us to be our best? If we are waiting to produce the works which hold promise of approval, then our confidence merely lies in our works. We are seeking to be made by these works. The apostle Paul says this is a terminal path leading only to comparison and judgment. But, when we hear words of affirmation prior to the battle, we are seeking to be made by words. Building life on the foundation of words leads to life, but seeking to build on the flimsy foundation of works results in eventual catastrophe. (Matthew 7:24-27)

What are these foundational words? What is the common need among all of human beings, no matter the race, gender, class, or occupation? Whether we are an elite competitor or average fitness enthusiast, what are the words that have power to create new life?

“But God…loved us.”

These four words hold the key to transformation.  On the heels of a description of our sinfulness, Paul says Christ’s sacrifice proves God still loves us. 


1. What makes it difficult for you to believe an all-powerful, perfect God could love you?
2. How does your life fail to reflect this love?
3. How has a misunderstanding of God’s love for you affected your athletic performance?
4. How have you attempted to be made by your own works?



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