September 8, 2018
READ: Philippians 2:12-18
Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear (v.12).
In what’s considered one of the greatest Christian classics, Mere Christianity, British novelist, poet, academic, lay theologian, broadcaster, lecturer and Christian apologist C. S. Lewis wrote: “There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice. Thus, if you have really handed yourself over to Him (Jesus), it must follow that you are trying to obey Him.”
Of such obedience, Lewis adds, “As we daily live in the grateful awareness of the Father’s personal love for us, we will want to respond in self-surrender, obedience and the vigorous pursuit of a life well-pleasing to Him. And, great freedom, joy and transformation will mark our lives.”
Lewis was stating the same idea Paul expressed in Philippians 2:12, when he urged believers to “work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear”.
This isn’t a form of obedience that’s rooted in fear or entrapment, but obedience that flows from God’s work in us—as God gives us“the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (v.13).
As we walk obediently with Jesus, doing everything without complaining and arguing (so no one can criticise us), living clean and innocent lives as children of God, we can experience this result: we’ll shine “like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (vv.14-15).
Obedience means to “hold firmly to the word of life” (v.16) so that our lives will be lived with purpose, our work done with deep value and our lives marked by the joy of communing with God (vv.16-18).
Our obedient, “faithful service” to Jesus is an offering to Him (v.17)—an offering Paul says is utterly and fully worth devoting every aspect of our lives to.
365-day plan: Luke 21:25-38
Read Romans 12:1-2 and reflect on what it means to be daily transformed by God into a new person.
Why is obedience such an important matter in God’s sight? How does your obedience to Him reflect your love?