Surely, we are saved by grace and not by works, so what does Philippians 2:12 really mean?
- Make sure your life matches your doctrine.
“Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers” (1 Timothy 4:16). It’s not enough to just claim that Jesus is Lord. Your life – your decisions, your thoughts, and the motives behind your actions – must be centered on pleasing God.
- Be diligent in these matters and absorbed in them, so that your progress will be evident to all (1 Timothy 4:15).
You’ve heard it said many times before that people’s opinions don’t matter. At the end of the day, they don’t, because ultimately, God’s the judge. However, the Bible still does not entirely discredit the importance of reputation and progress. How’s your walk with God going? Is your progress evident to all, or has someone told you lately that you’ve been stagnant?
- Persevere until the end.
“These [trials] have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7)
In God’s eyes, your faith is precious, and it will be tested over and over again to see if it’s genuine. Will life’s worries and problems weigh you down and choke your faith? If you don’t get what you want in your timing, are you going to take matters into your own hands that are out of God’s bounds?
- Build upon your foundation with quality material.
The foundation is Christ, but how you build your life upon the Foundation will be shown for what it is on the Last Day. In your day-to-day routine, are you nurturing your relationship with quality prayer times, deep study of the Word, and applying the Word to your life? Or are you barely spending any time with God? Are you going to finish strong or barely escape the flames?
10 By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care.11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames. (1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
The older we get, the longer we’ve been a Christian, the easier it gets to take God for granted. If you’ve been going to the same church for years and years, you know the drill, you know all the songs, and Christianity doesn’t seem “exciting” like it used to be. However, it’s up to you to determine the level of “excitement” in your own walk with God. How will you change things up and illuminate others’ lives with your spiritual revival?
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