Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Studying Philippians Day 8

Philippians 2:12-18

"Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (2:12-13) Just a few verses earlier, Paul tell us that Jesus was 'obedient unto death-even death on a cross' (Philippians 2:8) Now, he is not only encouraging them for their obedience but reminding them of their obedience which they will need to use 'work out their salvation.' The commentary says it perfectly, "Work it out to the finish; not a reference to the attempt to earn one's salvation by works, but to the expression of one's salvation in spiritual growth and development. Salvation is not merely a gift received once for all; it expresses itself in an ongoing process in which the believer is strenuously involved. the process of perseverance, humble service, spiritual growth and maturation." To work out your salvation isn't to earn or work for it in any way, it is so complete what God has begun.
I have changed so much since I prayed the prayer of salvation thirty-two years ago. In desiring to be more like Christ I have been committed to reading the Word or Bible to know more of who He is and in doing so, I have been changed. I have grown in my trust and faith and have overcome many fears. One of my fears is change. It's easier for me and safer for me to do everything the same way so that no feathers are ruffled and life is predictable, but God has called me time and time again to accept change and trust Him. The most comforting part of these verses is, "...for it is GOD who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." (2:13) I have found God to be incredibly gentle in His 'working in me.' I remember one day God brought up a hurtful situation for me to deal with and as I remembered it, all I could do was cry. I cried that it took me, in my faith, five years to face the situation, surrender it and forgive it. I thought, 'Wow, had I been more mature in my faith God could have worked in my heart forgiveness years ago!' Then I cried because of His kindness, gentleness and patience. He knew five years earlier it would have been too hard to face it all.

"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like the stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life- in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing." (2:14-16)  'Do everything without complaining or arguing.' Wow! Is that even possible?!? I feel like I complain A lot! But here is a good reason not to: "Being discontented with God's will is an expression of unbelief that prevents one from doing what pleases God." (Bible Commentary) God has called me to be a stay-at-home mom and with that calling there is great potential for being frustrated and complaining, but being convicted by this verse I can see how complaining and being 'discontented' go hand-in-hand with unbelief and 'prevents me to please God.' Lord, forgive me for not being content with cleaning up after my kids, frustrated with laundry, and even all the work required to menu plan and cook. Please give me a servant's heart to serve my family with joy. Amen.
I love the encouraging words of Paul when he says, " which you shine like the stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life-" My prayer it day with the kids is that we are light to those around us, but how can we be a light if we are faithless? Lord, I want to be a light of joy and peace to those around me. Help me to trust you more and love as you love.

"But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. So you too should be glad and rejoice with me." (2:17-18) Paul is in jail, which may end in martyrdom, as he writes this letter to the Philippians. He has sacrificed his life to spread the Gospel and to share it with the Philippians, but he tells them to rejoice for the salvation of their souls has been one! He is rejoices and is content that it was worth jail time to see them saved and to see the Word of God moving out to the nations.

Today's Prayer:
Lord, every day since I have started reading the book of Philippians I have been convicted to have your heart of a servant. But to be a servant is to surrender and trust you more. Lord, work in my heart a greater faith and a servant's heart. I love you, Lord, and want to be just like you! In Jesus' name, Amen. 

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