Philippians 2:12-13 ‘What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.’ (MSG)
The only reason or way we can live faithfully is because of God’s grace at work in us. That’s what Paul is writing in this passage. We are saved by grace and enlivened daily by grace. It’s all grace.
Even at a time when Paul was hindered by some infirmity God kept reminding Paul that God’s grace was all Paul needed to keep going. (See 2Cor. 12) Then I saw this quote on an Internet chat.
‘Happiness keeps you sweet
Trials keep you strong
Sorrows keep you human
Failures keep you humble
God keeps you going.’ (K. Lawrence)
Grace is the energy and motivation of God that keeps us moving in an eternal direction. Paul describes this motivation. ‘ And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.’ (2Corinthians 9:8) Peter tells the church to keep growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2Peter 3:8)
John Newton penned this phrase in his hymn, ‘Amazing Grace’:
‘T’was grace that brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.’
So never fear about your own frailties and even failures because the Lord will keep us going even as he did Peter when he was about to deny Christ.
“Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” (Luke 22: 31-32 MSG)
How great to know that at every moment our God is with and within us working in us, completing his will in our lives. And that’s all grace.
So for this day receive the benediction from the letter of Jude (found just before the book of Revelation):
And now to him who can keep you on your feet, standing tall in his bright presence, fresh and celebrating—to our one God, our only Savior, through Jesus Christ, our Master, be glory, majesty, strength, and rule before all time, and now, and to the end of all time. Yes. (Jude 1:24,25 MSG VERSION)