To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
March/April 2016 Issue – Straight from the Heart, ‘I have you in my heart … all of you share God’s grace with me’ Philippians 1:7
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Philippians 2:12-13 (NIVUK): ”Therefore, 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, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.“
Today, many Christians (keeping in mind that Orthodox Christians will be celebrating Easter at a different time) will be going to Good Friday services and reflecting on the passion and death of our Saviour. It’s a day for silent meditation on a sacrifice that changed history.
Selwyn takes us through some interesting verses, in particular he says this about these words, ‘work out your own salvation’: “It is not a reference to salvation by works. We are not working to be saved: we are working because we are saved. The thought here is … to live out the saved life that we possess in Jesus.
This Good Friday let us remind ourselves that passivity in the Christian life is not an option: a ‘let go and let God’ attitude will not do.
We learn to co-operate with the strength and energy of God working in us. Deep within the springs of each Christian’s personality God is at work redirecting our wills and rejuvenating our motivation to do His will!
This is the glorious reality of the new covenant life once promised by Jeremiah and made good by the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). Jesus is continuing the good work He began in you and will bring it to completion.”
We cannot be bystanders and stand back to watch Jesus at work in the lives of others; we should place a towel around our waist and lovingly wash the feet of others, following the example set by our Master.
The Holy Spirit will work in us and provide guidance on the type of work He has prepared for us to do. We play our part by our willingness to do His will and seeking (through prayer) those good tasks, which are ours to do. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Good Friday is a great day to reflect on what Jesus has done for you; it is also a good day to think about what you are doing for God!