Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 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, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.”[a] Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain. 17 But 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. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
A. work out your salvation—to make yourself fit for the salvation that you’ve received (requires a great investment). You’ve already received it, but we have to work on keeping it (it could be lost, and though it can’t be earned, we must continue to work it out, able to maintain it—making our lives fit for it)—Story of little boy Charles—I would prank him by sending him to get me water in a cup with small holes at the bottom of it (empty by the time he made it back)—we will have nothing if we are wasting what we received from God.
· People who are working on building their spiritual wealth are so concerned with their relationship with God that it consumes them (obsessed)—they allow God to work fully in their lives—they don’t limit their investment into God and His Kingdom—He will fulfill His good purpose in their lives (they will receive major dividends)
· Spiritually rich people don’t need to put anyone else around them down to make themselves look better—they don’t have to argue and complain, there is an inherent surrender in them to strive to be pure. Though not perfect, the heart that Paul is describing, is focused on being an obedient child amongst an extremely sinful and evil world. (it is easy to give in to worldliness—lady on horse. It is important to be Godly, there are eternal dividends that we will receive—Bail bonds bag of crystal meth, calling me “The Rev”)
· Don’t be fooled though, even in the church there are some that live for themselves and not for God and we can’t be so deceived that we quit on God because we see sin in others at times, whether it is someone’s weakness or a weak moment in their walk or maybe it is someone that is totally unsurrendered to God. Some here are not going to make it because your priority is not God first above all else—Jesus is not lord (your kids or your schedule or your spouse or even yourself is lord). You can be like a flickering star, about to lose your place in the sky because you prefer darkness. Decide to shine, decide to invest and be rich, to receive the dividends for which Christ paid with his life for.
B. Invest in others:
· Paul invested in the disciples in Philippi and poured out his life for them (imitating Christ’s love), he did not pour out his life for worldly or selfish gain or pleasure. We should imitate Paul and how he poured himself out for others—who are you pouring yourselves out for (other than your immediate family (if you are a disciple, there needs to be someone, if not then you are not investing eternally and your dividends will be limited.
· To be poured out like a drink offering would have painted a violent picture in those days, where people were familiar of drink offerings (it created a pleasant aroma from the sacrifice offered to God and made it pleasing to Him.) Paul is asking the disciples to live out their faith in a manner that does not make his sacrifice one in vain.
2. Look Out For Number One
Timothy and Epaphroditus
19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you. 20 I have no one else like him, who will show genuine concern for your welfare. 21 For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But you know that Timothy has proved himself, because as a son with his father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope, therefore, to send him as soon as I see how things go with me. 24 And I am confident in the Lord that I myself will come soon.
25 But I think it is necessary to send back to you Epaphroditus, my brother, co-worker and fellow soldier, who is also your messenger, whom you sent to take care of my needs. 26 For he longs for all of you and is distressed because you heard he was ill. 27 Indeed he was ill, and almost died. But God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, to spare me sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I am all the more eager to send him, so that when you see him again you may be glad and I may have less anxiety. 29 So then, welcome him in the Lord with great joy, and honor people like him, 30 because he almost died for the work of Christ. He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me.