Summary: Do I ALWAYS obey what I know is right in God’s view, watched or not? Do I play by the RuleBook, even when no one else is looking or no one else is around, when no one else can see? Am I an obedient child of God, at all times, in all circumstances, in all
Philippians 2:12-18, part 6 in series October 11, 2009
Shining as Stars
12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me. (NIV)
Do we like to be watched while we’re doing something? How do we feel when we’re trying to get something dome, and someone else is constantly looking over our shoulder, perhaps even commenting on what we are doing; maybe even suggesting other or better ways we could be doing it? Or perhaps think of writing an exam, and the teacher or professor is watching over the entire group as they silently write their tests. Kind of a pressure-cooker, right? Think of a prison with armed guards watching over the inmates as they mill about the courtyard. One wrong move, and the alarm is sounded. Then there’s the closed circuit cameras we see (or don’t see) almost everywhere we go; along the street, in the department store, in the elevator, at the gas station…big brother is watching…
How do we behave when we KNOW we are being watched?
And contrast that with how we may or may not behave when we think no one is watching. Then, how do we act? Do we cut corners to try and get the job done more quickly or cheaply? Do we try to sneak a peak at the other guy’s test paper? Do we take a cheap shot at hurting someone? Do we speed, steal or maybe do something worse?
Do I ALWAYS obey what I know is right in God’s view, watched or not? Do I play by the RuleBook, even when no one else is looking or no one else is around, when no one else can see? Am I an obedient child of God, at all times, in all circumstances, in all places?
Work out my salvation? Train yourself up. Be effective in being saved
The people of the Philippian church were an obedient group of believers. Paul writes that they have always obeyed, whether he was with them or away from them. In fact, he says that they were even MORE obedient while he was gone!
How have we, as the human race, done in terms of obedience in Christ’s absence? How has the church done? How do you think people outside of the church, feel we are doing? If I can tell you how I feel, I think that if the people of God were all obedient to His Word and His instructions that He gave before He left, we would be living in a much better world today than we are now. Do you agree?
If we lived humble, thankful, peaceful, loving and obedient lives as Jesus calls us to, then we would see a church on every corner, filled with people longing to live lives of worship of our God and Creator. Why don’t we see that? Could it be that because we don’t see God watching over us, following our every action, that we don’t obey Him at all times, in all places, or in all circumstances? Could it be that that church is not doing it’s job, and fulfilling it’s purpose to carry out the Great Commission that Jesus left for us to do? Could be!
Paul says we need to work out our salvation, WITH FEAR AND TREMBLING. IT means we need to exercise our faith, strengthen our resolve to see the unsaved come to Christ, and work HARD at doing it. Why? Because God IS watching us, and one day we will have to give an account as to what we did with the gift of life that God gave us. Hebrews 4 tells us 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Romans 14 11It is written: " ’As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ’every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ "12So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.