"Momma, if God can do anything He wants, just by the power of His word, why does He call us to work for Him?"
"Do you remember when you made chocolate chip cookies all by yourself for the first time?"
"Yes, it was when Gramma and Grampa were coming to dinner. Was I six years old?"
"That's right. You started by reading the recipe."
"You had to help me. Remember I asked you what sue-gar was?"
"Yes, we had a good laugh at that one, didn't we?"
"I remember when I had to cream the butter and the sugar and it was too stiff for me to stir it."
"I helped you with that."
"You helped me measure everything, too, and you helped me put the cookies on the tray."
"You were afraid of the heat of the oven, so I put the cookies in for you."
"You took them out, too, and helped me put them on the cooling racks."
"And then when we served the cookies to Gramma and Grampa, what did you say?"
"I said I made the cookies! But I didn't, did I?"
"Well, you did make them, but I helped."
"I guess I should have said you helped. I couldn't have done it without you."
"Do you think it would have been easier for me to make the cookies myself?"
"I suppose it would have been much easier."
"Then why do you think I asked you to make the cookies?"
"I guess because you wanted me to learn from it."
"Yes, that's part of it. What else?"
"You knew I would enjoy it."
"How do you mean?"
"You knew I would like working next to you in the kitchen, because I love you. You knew I would like making something for Gramma and Grampa because I love them. You knew I would like taking part in making dinner for them because that was a happy day."
"Well, I guess I should admit that I enjoyed being able to brag that I had made them."
"Of course you did. There is great satisfaction in a job well done."
"But I should have said how much you helped."
"It would have been thoughtful to do so, but I would never have expected a six-year-old to think that way very often. I was willing to share the credit with you and have your grandparents admire your good work."
"So, what you are saying is that God is like that, too?"
"Yes, He is. He gives us good works to do because He loves us just as I love you--only far better. He knows that we will learn by doing good works, and we will love doing them, because we love Him and will love being a part of His work. He knows it would be easier just to do things Himself, and He knows He shares a bit of His glory with us when He lets us participate, but He is pleased to do it."
"He loves us very much, doesn't He?"
"Yes He does. Even more than I love you, which is an awful lot. Remember, I don't love you because you made cookies. I gave you cookies to bake because I love you. God doesn't love us because of good things we do, He gives us good things to do because He loves us."
"But we still should remember to thank Him and acknowledge that we couldn't do anything without His help."
"Indeed we should."
8For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10)
13...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13)
Bible quotations from the English Standard Version.