Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. Philippians 2:12 NLT.
When you are a classroom teacher, sometimes you have to take a day off! Maybe you or a family member is sick; so you call out. Your class is covered for the day by someone else. Usually, your students know the routines and are expected to follow the rules of the class. One year, while I taught first grade, I had a space that students knew was my space. They respected my space and guarded it even when I was not at school. One day when I was out, and I arrived the following morning, one student told me, “Ms. Scott, I told that teacher that she was not allowed to go to your space; but she went anyway.” You see, they followed the routine in my absence.
The Apostle Paul told the community at Philippi that they performed well in his presence, but the true test of their commitment was in his absence; somewhat like a classroom teacher. So what exactly did the Apostle Paul expect them to do? He wanted them to work out their own salvation. Paul was not telling them that salvation was of works because that would be in direct conflict with what he told the church in Ephesus. In Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT he said, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”
Instead, he was asking them to work, so that others can see the results of their salvation in their lives. So how can they do that? Well Paul said they had to work hard and obey God. Jesus explained it this way in Matthew 5:16 AMP, “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” This applies to people of faith everywhere. Your good deeds provide the evidence of your salvation to the world. When people give out of their abundance, they are praised as good men and women, but when through the love you have for God, you give out of your need to help someone in distress, then you are working out your salvation. Remember Galatians 6:10 GNT, “So then, as often as we have the chance, we should do good to everyone, and especially to those who belong to our family in the faith.”
Thought for Today: Friend, your works tell the world about your God.
Have a blessed day and walk in faith and victory.