(Part 1 of 2)
1 Timothy 4:16… “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (KJV). “Keep a close watch on all you do and think. Stay true to what is right and God will bless you and use you to help others” (TLB).
Philippians 2:12-13… “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (KJV).
Paul is speaking here about personal accountability. If you do what Paul says, you will save yourself, your household, and your church. Personal accountability has a lot to do with your attitude. You win or lose in your attitudes. (Attitude is your disposition, your frame of mind, your point of view, your outlook on life.) Just like Adam had the ability to choose whether or not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, so we have the ability to do the same.
Work out your own salvation. Paul is issuing a wake-up call. Put some responsibility upon yourself. Choose good and not evil. The words “work out” mean “to accomplish a purpose, perform, do something, give careful attention to your personal life, commit yourself to saving yourself, or make saving your life your top priority.” Peter, in 2 Peter 1:4-11, exhorts us to give diligence in making sure of our salvation. He speaks about an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of Christ and that it starts in this life, not after you die.
Personal efforts to take care of our lives is important. It is scriptural to take heed to your life. Matthew 4:17… Jesus started His preaching ministry with the word “repent”; that is, to change your way of thinking. He wanted His listeners to think on the values of the kingdom of God, and He wanted them to be free from wrong values. Taking care of yourself is what both Jesus and Paul were talking about. We are living in perilous times, and one of our top priorities must be to dedicate our minds and our will to preserving ourselves. Paul and Jesus both speak about disciplining ourselves in purity and holiness, with fear and trembling. Hebrews 5:7 says, “Yet while Christ was here on earth he pleaded with God, praying with tears and agony of soul to the only one who would save him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his strong desire to obey God at all times” (TLB). A good question right about now is… Have you a strong desire to obey God at all times?
If you have the strong desire to obey God, break off those plans for your life that are not God’s plans for your life. Resist temptation. Persevere against sin. Have a right attitude in your mind and heart. When your attitude is wrong, your achievement level is low. Live free from sin today, not tomorrow. Pray, study, worship. Those who do not, eventually fall. If you fall into sin, repent, and make it a high priority to be clean. Revelation 3:19-20… Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock” (KJV). He encourages people to hear what He is saying and to open up their spirits. He will come in and feast with you. Don’t keep Jesus outside. Bring Him in. Say to Him, “Come in, Jesus, my spirit needs you right now.”
Psalm 112:1-10 is a great example of taking responsibility for your life. Psalm 112 stands as a handbook for blessed living in hard and perilous times. If you can take hold of the commands in this psalm, miracles of blessings are waiting for you. Many people today are hard-pressed to keep their jobs, to get a good education, to instill good morals in much-assaulted children. This psalm comes alive with wisdom and needed benefits for every one of us. God gave these promises, and each one carries instruction on how we can work out our salvation. Psalm 112 is no ordinary list of promises. It’s the Christians “combat formula” for end-time sanity and survival. God wants to give you a miracle of safety, a miracle of peace of mind, a miracle of power to overcome, and a miracle of wisdom to sort out life’s confusions.
(To be continued…)
Pastor George Belobaba
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