If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death– even death on a cross. There-fore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. ~NRSV
Paul encourages us to workout our own salvation.
Does that mean we can do whatever we want? Yes.
But ask does our “daily life plan” reflect God or ourselves.
This is something we, each, have to work out, find out, and live into individually.
Paul could not do it for us, God couldn’t do it for Jesus..
Work out your own salvation..
So if it is not actually ‘anything goes,’ how do we do it?
First, Paul starts with our mind, our attitude, our perspective.
When the coach isn’t calling the right plays or the favorite
players are not stepping up, fans shout:
“Get your head in the game..”
“Think about what your doing, focus.”
To help focus, Paul draws on words from an early church hymn..
He takes the familiar words and weaves them into an explanation and example..
What words come to mind with this tune?
Whistling the tune to Ray Charles’s “Georgia, on my mind..”
Jesus, Jesus, The whole day through, Just an old sweet song keeps Jesus on my mind, I’m say Jesus, Jesus, A song of you comes as sweet and clear, as moonlight through the pines
Other arms reach out to me, Other eyes smile tenderly, Still in peaceful dreams I see, The road leads back to you. I said Jesus, Ooh Jesus, no peace I find, Just an old sweet song, keeps Jesus on my mind…
Have the mind of Christ, think like Jesus..
What would Jesus think, and say, AND do?
The test questions ask:
Q: Do I thinking of myself first? Look out for me/my family first. Right?
Q: Am I strong and humble? Or one only one OR the other.
Working out our salvation is answering one question:
Have you emptied yourself to be filled up with Jesus?
Honestly, Frankly, not so much..
We want to give Jesus some room when we need him.
We might give him one day or one hour a week.
What fills up your days and nights…
empty for the sake of your salvation.