Theme of the Week: Book of the Bible – Philippians
Bible Verse: 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 in order to fulfill His good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13
Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12-30
I was once asked by some people if I could help them move a grand piano. We needed to get it up from the floor and onto a stage. I didn’t really know the people well and was a little surprised that they had called me to come and help; I was just another strong back, I guess.
When I got to the venue, one of the guys was in charge. After several unsuccessful attempts to get the piano on the stage, he had the idea that it would go much easier if we put the piano on its side. I didn’t think that was a good idea, but, again, I wasn’t in charge. I wouldn’t say he was the best at giving directions, so when we started to tip the piano up, no one really knew what their role was.
Within moments of this new plan, one of the legs snapped in half and the piano hit the ground hard. It sounded like all thirty-five of Mozart’s sonatas were compressed and played at the exact same second.
The question quickly became, “Who was supposed to be making sure that the disaster didn’t happen?”
Paul brings up the idea of responsibility in Philippians when it comes to our spiritual growth. Sometimes, he seems to be saying that it’s Jesus who does that work (1:6) and other times he seems to be saying that it is us who does the work (1:27). So, which is it?
I love how he summarizes it Philippians 2:12-13. He says it is both. He says that we are to work out our salvation because it is Christ who works in us.
We are both pulling on the same rope. We need to give our all to living a life worthy of the calling we have received all the while depending completely on Christ to do His work in us.
It is not an “either-or” question, it is a “both-and”.
Let’s continue to partner with Jesus and grow up in Him.
Prayer: Lord, please continue to show me where I need to grow. Give me the strength and courage to do my part, to be obedient, to be disciplined, to be faithful. But also, never let me forget that without You all my efforts are worthless. Without You, I likely wouldn’t even put the effort in that I need to. Thank you that we are in this together. I yield myself to Your great strength and I commit myself to doing everything you ask me to do. Amen.
Reflection: In this balance of working out your salvation and God working in you, where do you lean? Are you the type that just puts your nose to the grindstone and works hard at being the kind of man God wants you to be, forgetting about His great power and strength? Or are you the kind of person that just leaves that up to God without really considering the hard work that He is asking you to do? It’s a tough thing, but important to get right. You are in this together with the creator and lover of your soul. Enjoy the ride together, I know He is!
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