We can shine for Christ because of God who energizes us to do His will
Philippians 2:12 – 16 12 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, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 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. (NIV)
For many Christians, Christian life is very exciting in the early stages of their faith-journey. When we pray God answers almost every prayer in spectacular ways. The Bible is so alive to us. We had incredible passion for God and His ways. But as we grow older in our Christian walk, the things we once enjoyed become mere routines: prayer, fellowship, and mission. We start finding faults with people we once respected, we get used to church, and the excitement dies.
It’s no wonder that the Bible encourages us to continue to “work out” our salvation. In this passage we can at least find three things to encourage us.
- Continue: Verse 12 says “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.” It is important to always remind of ourselves that life is a journey and as long as our Lord Jesus Christ has not yet returned we must continue shining for Christ.
- Work out – the same verse calls Christians “to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” Working out does not meaning working for our salvation because we are saved by the grace of God alone. It is a gift from God. It does not even mean working on our salvation so as to make it better – our salvation is complete in Jesus Christ. What this verse means is that we as Christians who have been saved by grace, we should live out what we already are.
- God works in: – “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” We are only able to live Christ-honoring lives not because of our strong resolve but because of God’s empowering power that works in us to accomplish His purposes. We can work out because God has works in.
- Shine: As we live Christ honoring lives, we are like shining lights in darkness. God will be glorified in us. The life lived according to the Bible is life-giving, and life-transforming.