12 Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, 16 by holding firm to the word of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.
How should we respond to Jesus’ sacrifice? Paul pleads for the believers to take action in light of Jesus’ unfathomable humility.
“Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)
This is not a call to work for our salvation with a fear of somehow missing it. It’s a plea to work out our salvation. Those who follow Jesus are to work out salvation by imitating their Savior. We live a life of obedience, recognizing we cannot make ourselves more like God. What Jesus has done for us fills us with an awe-inspiring recognition of our total dependence on our Savior.
The psalmist said people of faith will “serve the Lord with reverential awe and rejoice with trembling.” (Psalm 2:11) We hold fast to Jesus through our obedience as He is holding us fast to complete the work in us. Sister, it is Jesus who changes our desires and habits. It is not forced upon us, but thankfully He enables and equip us for a life of obedience and sacrifice.
This reality should leave us joyfully shaken to the core!
“For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to His good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)
The Philippians had been a receptive church, eager to do what was right and acceptable before God. Paul wrote to encourage them to think even more sacrificially and selflessly, applying the humility of Christ to their relationships specifically within the family of God. Paul had gone to great lengths to remind them of Who they were to emulate.
Once we realize the full extent of Christ’s sacrifice, we will naturally and willingly surrender our lives to Him. It will be our honor to imitate Him. As we look to Jesus’ humble death, our hearts grow in a healthy fear of offending God with sin and we delightedly bow our will to Him in awe and respect for His majesty and holiness.
If you know the song, worship the Lord with these lyrics sung by Shane & Shane, “For my life He bled and died, Christ will hold me fast. Justice has been satisfied, He will hold me fast.”
Pause VI, Day 6
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