For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God. (Eph. 2:8)

VOLUNTEERING PUTS A WHOLE NEW SPIN on life after working for a paycheck for so many years. Volunteers’ “pay” is the gratification we get from helping people. I find that working as a volunteer in a senior day center is not much different from my career as a nurse. Helping people, anticipating their needs, and communicating with them at their level is an ongoing process. When we are willing to give of ourselves, it is amazing how much of the blessing returns to us. Ephesians 2:9 says, “Not by works, so that no one can boast.”

The grace that is given to us is our “pay” from God. God wants us to do good works, but that doesn’t “buy” us salvation. We have to be willing to reach out to others and assist them in ways God has blessed us with the ability to do. Those small things we do for others, which seem so easy to us, are a huge blessing to the people who find it difficult or are unable to do them. A kind word or a pat on the shoulder can validate that person.

A gift is something given or bestowed with no strings attached. God’s gift of salvation is freely given to us; we just need to accept it. We need to be gracious receivers of the gift of salvation.

Pass along God’s grace to others.

Karen Doolaard lives in Michigan with her husband, John, where they attend Central Wesleyan Church. She is involved in the Prayer Shawl Ministry.

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