To understand this text, we must take note of the context and of several facts brought out by the Greek text. In the flow of thought, these verses introduce the conclusion of an appeal for unity that began in 1:27 and runs through 2:18. “Therefore/So then” (2:12) in Greek indicates a conclusion from what precedes. Also, all of the words used here are plurals in Greek. Paul is not telling individual Christians to individually work out their personal salvation, as is often taught. Rather, he is appealing to the church, based on the example of humility seen in Jesus Christ 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves., to work out the practical implications of their salvation in their relationships with one another. Because God Himself is at work in their midst as a church, they need to lay aside personal rights and humbly serve one another, putting others ahead of self. In so doing, they will stand out as lights in this dark, selfish world (2:15).
For God’s glory, he needs us to be lights in the world---so he tells us to take what is in us and work it OUT---don’t just keep it in, don’t just hide it. So what does the world see in the church: a happy group of saved people, busy, helping, encouraging, praising, unified, glory bound…or apathetic, sparse attendance, few people doing all the work, mumbling, grumbling…see my point??
Not only in its inception, but throughout the whole process, God must be the energizing power of the Christian life (our English word “energy” comes from the Greek word translated “work” in 2:13). Jesus said, “... apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). We cannot live the Christian life in our own strength or effort, but must walk each day in the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Vs 16---why is it important to HOLD FAST TO THE WORD OF LIFE (my words are spirit, they are life)
Ever felt like being a mom is the hardest thing you’ve ever done? My wife shared this post with me called “The Most Life-Changing Thing Any Woman Can Do For Herself This Mother’s Day” and I want to share it with you:
Yeah — if you’re being gut honest here — you don’t really want the cards or the flowers.
Or what gets wrapped up in shiny paper, or stuffed in a bag with wrinkled tissue paper, or anything that gets tied up and presented with these dangling tendrils of curling ribbon.
What you really wanted is to be extraordinarily, obviously, good at this. At this mothering thing.
You wanted to be the best at this.
You wanted to take the podium and gold medal in mothering — not take a million timeouts behind some locked bathroom door, turn on the water so no one hears you sobbing at what a mess this whole shebang is, and how you’d like to run away. Ask me how I know?
Honest? You wanted to be more.
You wanted to be more patient — you wanted to never lose it, to always have it together, to keep calm and that is all, always, — and yeah, take their tantrums with a grain of salt instead of throwing one of yours that turned out to be a first class tsunami and a tad bit more dramatic than theirs. You wanted more flashes of wisdom in the heat of the moment when you had no bloody idea what was the best thing to do, when you flung up an S.O.S. prayer, made The Call on the deal that was facing the kid and you —- and the kid hated you for it and you crawled into bed feeling like a heel who always gets it wrong when everyone else gets it right.
You’d about give your eye teeth and your left arm for more time. More time to get it more right and less wrong.
More time so that you could that leave that one more thing that ended up not mattering a hill of beans in the long run, so you could take the time to lay there in the dark with them after prayers and talk about the deep things that only come in the exhale of last light out, and rub their back till they fall asleep.
Somebody — how about just more time — and internal permission — to surprise with more spontaneous “Mommy-Holidays!” in the middle of the week and go for ice cream and the park and the beach and the woods. More time to not hurry them, badger them, nag them, or manage them like some to-do list that needs to get stroked off, done and tossed before tomorrow’s starts again — but just more time slow down, smile into them, simply enjoy being.
You want a do-over.
You wanted to be better.
Never once did you ask to come stumbling into this with all this baggage — all this mess that your parents sent you packing with, all these unhealthy-coping mechanisms, all these triggers, all this unspoken broken.
What you really want, desperately, wildly, in spite of everything — is for them to remember the good…. to remember enough of the times you whispered, “I Love You” … to know how many times you broke your heart and how how hard you really tried.
All you want? Is for them to feel a deep sense of safety, that they are safe to trust people, safe to dream large, safe to believe, safe to try, safe to love large and go fly — and you need to know that you haven’t wrecked that. That they feel the certain, tender embrace of your love —- in spite of all the storming times you acted unlovely.
Could someone just wrap up … a bit of Grace?
What every mother wants, her most unspoken need — is a truckload of Grace.
Grace that buries her fears that her faith wasn’t enough, and that her faults were too many.
Grace that washes her dirty wounds and wounds the devil’s lies.
Grace that says she doesn’t have to try to measure up to anyone else because Jesus came down — and He measures her as good enough, as worthy enough, as loved more than enough.
Grace embraces you before you prove anything — and after you’ve done everything wrong.
Grace holds you when everything else falls apart — and whispers that everything is really falling together.
Grace loves us when we are at our darkest worst — and wraps us in the best light.
What happened in the past can’t change it, and nothing in the future can intimidate the reality of it — and it’s what your soul aches for the most —- and it’s the realest true:
You are always sufficient — because God always gives you His all sufficient grace.
You don’t have to be afraid —
because you have a Father.
You don’t have to know how to do it all.
You just have to choose to be all here, right where you are.
His grace meets you in the moment — and you will miss it if you are worrying about future moments.
Lock your thoughts in this moment — and you get to live the freest of all.
When you focus on living only in the grace of this moment — is exactly when you get the grace of a momentous life. Live in the moment — and you get a momentous life.
That is all …
You don’t have to be awesome and do everything.
You simply have to believe that the One who is Awesome loves you through everything.
And when the mothers sat with that….
When the mothers sat with that, when they gave themselves that, when they opened up and unfolded all this Grace…
when they were given it …
and when they let it completely enfold them —
all these wounds healed in a thousand places.
Whether we’re moms or not, we all need to spend time in God’s Word to better understand the depth of God’s love, grace, and mercy to each one of us. To be in Christ is to have His grace and when we realize how much He gives to us, maybe, just maybe, we can give it to others and ourselves. Here are a few related passages from God’s word:
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.