Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Wednesday Women in the Word

As I was writing out Scripture the other day, I was in Philippians 2:12-18.  I'm going to write it out for you, because I love the passage in its entirety, but if you have a Bible, open up on your own and read it in your version.  Anytime we can open up the word of God on our own, we need to do that, even if it's on a screen in front of us.  I learned this from my Pastor.

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.  For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.  Do everything without grumbling and arguing, so that you may be blamess and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, 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.  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.  In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.

Here are some things this passage brought to my mind.

We should obey the word of God.

In verse 12, Paul was reminding them to keep on obeying the divine commands he had given them, which was the word of God.  I love these verses as a cross reference to get a glimpse of some more meaning:

We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete2 Corinthians 10:5-6

That little phrase work out your own salvation with fear and trembling literally means to continue to work to bring something to fulfillment or completion.  Believers and followers of Jesus have a responsibility to continue to actively work toward obeying through the sanctification process.  Sanctification is like a refining process that we will continually be going through as believers.  We will not be done with this process until the Lord Jesus calls us home to His side. 

Don't grumble and don't complain.  And while you're at it, don't be so quick to tell your opinions to the world.  I am preaching to myself, as well. 

In verse 13, we can know that God is the one who brings about this working process in us; we are not working for our salvation, it is free!  We are working to look more and more like Jesus.  I love verse 14~Do everything without grumbling and arguing.  I don't know if we've ever needed this reminder more than we do right now, today.  In the middle of this pandemic and all these new suggestions and recommended guidelines, I have seen more people bite and attack one another for differing opinions on social media, and I am so tired of it.  We are not to grumble and we are not to argue, friends.  Doing either of those produces NOTHING.  In fact it could cause a believer to stumble or a lost person who doesn't know Jesus think they don't want any part of Him, if that's what His children act and look like. 

Shine bright for Jesus. 

When we do those things~not grumbling and arguing with those around us or those who disagree with us, we shine like stars in the world!  We are to be a light to others, just as Jesus was the Light of the world (John 8:12) and we are to shine for Him.  I love the picture that brings to my mind!  In doing that, we are holding firm to the word of life, which is the word of God.  This brings to mind a picture of someone holding something out for you to take when it looks appealing~that is how we are to make the gospel look to those around us who don't know Him~appealing and attractive.  That'll make you think for a minute, won't it?  It should!  My friend always says that the word of God is like a mirror image~when we read it we should see our own sin.  Think on how you've seemed lately to someone who doesn't know you?  Were you rude?  Did you ignore them totally when you were checking out?  Did you throw your hands up at someone who cut you off on the road? 

Paul the writer finished off this section of Scripture by saying the rest of these words to the church of Philippi.  He labored and was thrown into prison for the sake of Jesus and getting out the gospel and eventually was martyred for his tremendous faith, and he would in fact be poured as a drink offering.  I love reading all of his epistles, and this is one of the "prison epistles", meaning he wrote it while in prison.  His last letter to write, 2 Timothy was also written in prison and probably while he was chained to a Roman guard.  Think of that the next time you read that little jewel of a book. 

I pray you were encouraged by these words, friends.  I think they're such wonderful and timely reminders to all of us in this crazy time.  Let's try to stop biting and devouring each other with our words on social media...are you with me?  It doesn't do anyone any good by stating your very loud opinions all the time and nobody ever changed a mind based on something one read on Facebook or Twitter.  Let's try and do our best at keeping the peace around us at all times. 

Love to all. 

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