Memories that Encourage
Verse 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,
In our verse today we come to another “therefore” and so we must remember what we have just been talking about so that we will see the tie-in to where we are going.
This chapter starts out with another “therefore” that reminded us that if we have encouragement in our relationship with Christ, comfort in our love for Him, a common bond with other believers through the Spirit, and/or tenderness and compassion that we should live like Christ. We should be like-minded to Him not living lives of pure selfishness.
That brought us to a song of praise for who Jesus is and what He has done. We saw Him give up all that He had been enjoying in heaven to become a part of His creation. We talked about His leaving the constant praise of Heaven to suffer the hatred of holiness in this sinful world. We have also talked about how He came to know the pain of His plan as He suffered the death of curse on the tree as He and the Father had decided even before a single tree had been created.
All of this needs to be kept in mind to help us understand what Paul is wanting us to grasp in these next verses. He reminds his readers that to desert our selfishness, taking on the likeness of our Lord and Savior means making the choice to obey in all things.
As we mentioned yesterday, we can forget that professing Him as Lord should be evident to more than just us. There should be an obvious mark of Him on our lives. This is where the dance of working out our salvation begins. We are to obey, we are to seek His will and think about what would bring Him the greatest glory.
Paul know that his readers hadn’t always obeyed in everything. He knew the same about himself just as we know that truth about ourselves. But he wanted to encourage them to obey. Encouraging each other on in obedience is one of the greatest gifts we can give each other.
Making It Personal
Does remembering all that Jesus chose to do for us, encourage you to greater obedience? Who is someone that has helped you obey through encouragement? Who could use your encouragement today?
Making It Personal Kids
How does knowing what Jesus did for you, help you want to obey Him? Has anyone ever encouraged you to obey Jesus? Have you ever encouraged someone else to obey Jesus?
Father, Your constant display of love for us is unmatched. Give us a heart of obedience so that we will want to obey You in every way. In Jesus’ name, amen.