I read this past week that “You did not do anything to achieve your salvation, but you must do something to exhibit it.” The references included:
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12-13 KJV)
As the church in Philippi, we will not have the pastor, evangelist, mentor to disciple us. Eventually we must work with God what is His will and His pleasure in our lives. That’s not an easy task.
It is not as praying, “God, do with me as You will,” or “Tell me what You want,” or even “I am Yours to do with as you will.” The most telling work we will do is discover what God has for us to do. We will miss the mark, often. We may even come to His will late in our lives, missing out on blessings and being a blessing to others. Fortunately, it is never too late.
See the thief on the cross? The lasts few moments of his life were a blessing to him and to many others across the ages:
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23:39-43 KJV)
Both men desired to be off the cross and away from death. Both men spoke to Christ to achieve their goals – one with sarcasm and disbelief, the other willing to allow Christ to determine the outcome. Both came to the knowledge this was indeed the Christ but after their deaths.
Why wait that long? Utilize the faith available to both of these men, and to us:
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)
We think first of the Holy Bible as being God’s word to mankind, but the Bible itself tells us of the Word:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-5 KJV)
Jesus was with and was God. Without Him was not any thing made. What have we earned? Nothing. What have we been given? Life that is in Him. The true question is, have we comprehended that life? That light?