Read Philippians 2:1-18 and make yourself available to hear from the Holy Spirit.
Throughout this devotional, we have talked about the gospel and the ways it should inform our way of life. Today is no exception. The gospel is not something that we hear once, say a prayer of salvation, and move on. It is something we are constantly being renewed by. Just like we addressed in day 1, even after we decide to follow Jesus and commit Him as Lord, we still need grace daily for our mistakes. That is the difference of Justification and Sanctification in the Christian’s walk. We are justified before the Father by Jesus Christ to have eternal life with Him. But our salvation, the idea of sanctification, is being worked out as we grow in holiness/the likeness of Christ. This is the idea Paul and Timothy are focusing on in today’s reading.
Paul begins by focusing on the fantastic news that we aren’t striving toward the working out of our salvation on our own. He emphasizes that through the encouragement we have in the gospel, the love that has been shown to us, and the participation of the Holy Spirit in our lives, we are enabled to grow in the likeness of Christ. With all humility, we value others just as Christ has valued us. This growth, though difficult at times as we’ve addressed in previous days, involves not only the help and guidance of the Spirit, but requires us to take steps of obedience.
Paul and Timothy, who had been with the church of Philippi (whom this letter was written for) in an effort to help them remain rooted in the teachings of Christ, had to leave to continue their work elsewhere. This is where Paul begins to focus on the need for their journey of salvation to be something that they own and work at with reverence toward our awesome God.
If we take the time to unpack this idea, we see just how amazingly intimate our God is in parallel to day 2’s reading. Our Father is mindful of us in such a way that He is working in our lives to enable us to work out our salvation and He sees it as good pleasure (v. 12-13). It is a fantastic nuance where God moves to encourage and we get to move in step with Him out of loving obedience, like we have been urged to do in our reading.
As we walk, we grow in His likeness and shine brightly for all to see. People will recognize in us His fantastic glory that satisfies souls like nothing in this world ever could. So, we rejoice and pour out our thanks by a life of praise! Because there is no better way to use our breath than to use it to glorify the one that gave us the air to breathe. This is the sound of His power in and through our lives.
- In what ways is God refining your walk with Him?
- How can you better live in loving obedience to what God has asked of us through Paul and Timothy’s words?
- End your time by thanking the Lord for the very breath in your lungs He has given you.