The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

06/01/2010

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Beginnings, Middles, and Ends


"Work out your salvation with fear and trembling......That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world" (Phil. 2:12 & 15).

A good beginning is often important. In a sprint race, it is of the utmost importance. Our beginnings, in literally all phases of life, are marked by the preparation we have made that has gotten us to this point. The prevailing wisdom says that the better the preparation, the better the outcome. Here in the book of Philippians, Paul commends them for making a good start. The first part of verse 12 is this commending reassurance of their obedience both in his presence and absence. He then gets to weightier matters. No matter how good the beginning, one's salvation has to be worked out with fear and trembling! This takes us beyond the beginning and into the daily walk of life. The "working out of salvation," is about being faithful to our commitment to Christ....FOREVER! Fear and trembling come into play for this is a most serious commitment. There is a very fine line between the confidence of our salvation in Jesus, and the awareness and pull of sin. If we are not always vigilant, our pride may tempt us to take our salvation for granted, and allow us to let down our guard.

We need to remember some of Paul's other words...."Therefore, let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall" (1 Cor. 10:12). On many levels, people in the world do not expect much from one another, thus all the negativity. The manner in which Christians treat each other is a witness to the world that followers of Christ answer to a higher calling. Every day of our walk is a teaching moment, "among whom you shine as lights to the world." People are certainly more inclined to listen to our verbal testimony about faithfulness if it is reinforced by the fact that the one exhorting them is living out his belief. Christianity is put to the test in how we treat other people. Humility is a fundamental if we are to please God. Staying the course builds on our good beginnings and leads us to a life of service for our Lord. Jesus is pleased with us when we shine....

Have a wonderful day...Do let your lights shine for Him.... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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