I’ve been holding these verses in my folder for months as I review the folder for weekly inspiration. I can’t stop looking at them as one whole verse and when I try to break them up, it just doesn’t feel right. With Easter being so late in the year, I keep getting distracted by other verses that are more general for my posts. My attention keeps turning back to these verses since they speak to the bigger “story” of the meaning of Easter and why our faith is so important. Please read these slowly and listen to what they are saying to you. The majesty of the bible is that you can read it over and over and come away with something new each time.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. 30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.25 “All this I have spoken while still with you. 26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.28 “You heard me say, ‘I am going away and I am coming back to you.’ If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. 29 I have told you now before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe.
Nothing like being twelve plus hours late in getting a weekly blog post out! For now in only the second time, I’m late in getting this out. The “holiday” weekend threw me off cycle; I thought I still had a day to go. In any event, I was moved this week following a bible study at church to write about working out. While I wish I could give great fitness advice, I’m not doing that here. We all use the phrase “work out” in a coupe of ways: “I hope this works out”, “I will make it work out”, “I’m headed to the gym to work out” and “can’t we work this out”. Each one of these phrases has a slightly different meaning. At work, we all try our hardest to be the best that we can; some days are better than others. When our motivation is low, it takes everything that we have to “make it work” or simply “make work.” The word WORK for some has become a four-letter word. The number of people who hate their jobs is high, the number of people looking for jobs is high and the number of people retiring from jobs is high (I skipped any Colorado reference here). I read that the number of people quitting their jobs is a good sign of the economy improving; who knew? Most people simply want their “work” to be satisfying and others simply want to find some work. No matter your desire, working, while highly overrated, is still a critical part of our lives. How we behave, what we say/do, how we work, will all say a lot about our character. It’s not the work it’s self, it’s how we approach the work. No matter what you do, you are still important to the people around you and the people at home. While we would all love to sit home and have good money deposited into our checking accounts each payday, most of us have to “work” for a living. Our work however doesn’t have to be a four-letter word, no one makes us miserable, we simply let them make us that way. Take control and work hard for yourself; besides you never know who’s watching.
12”…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13
There is often huge confusion about part of this verse: “work out your salvation”. Some people believe that you must work for your salvation; you need to earn your way to salvation. However the concept of justification says something quite the opposite. We were justified by Jesus’ death and resurrection. This means that those who believe in Him are “not guilty” of their sins in the eyes of God, we are forgiven! The Holy Spirit works in us through sanctification so that we may live out our lives in faith. It is the combination of justification and sanctification that we can remain steadfast in our faith of eternal life. It’s certain something better than sitting home and having good money deposited into our checking account! Like a trip to the gym, we “work out” our salvation by studying the word of God and participating in the sacraments much like a cardio and weight regimen. Like a personal trainer, St. Paul’s letters are filled with great advice for us to maintain our workouts and remain strong in our faith. God is working in you to be the best person that you can be. He is working in your life not to satisfy your wants and needs but to fulfill his good purpose for you. Let the hand of God guide you no matter what is happening in your work life; He has a purpose for you, let him reveal it knowing that you are not guilty of your sins through His justification and sanctification.