Work hard ... God is working in you ...

Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people. -Philippians 2:12-15 NLT

There is a divine cooperation at work in those who are believers in Christ. Paul says it plainly here: work hard, for God is working in you. Sometimes I do not like the idea that kingdom living is a partnership where God leads and we follow. I sometimes wish that the choice was sometimes not so hard. For example, who has not struggled doing everything without complaining and arguing or living innocent lives? This kind of living requires the Holy Spirit's work in our heart.

Yet it is needful to say that we work out our salvation but we do not work for it. Saying yes to Jesus has never been about working for salvation. Receiving a gift has never been considered work for the recipient. Who has ever boasted about how they worked for that birthday gift simply because they cashed a check or used a gift card? Yet a gift is not a gift unless one has the power to refuse it. The gift of salvation can be refused but how glorious it is when we say yes.

Thank you Lord for the gift of salvation. Help us to live lives that reflect the bright light of salvation.

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