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God works it in us

This week I thought that I would write about one of my favorite scriptures in the Bible. It is found in the book of Philippians: "For God is at work in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure." Phil. 2:3 NIV.

    Many times in our Christian walk we lose site of the fact that the work that God asks of us, He also works into us. It is not so much that we are working for G
"Abide in me and I in you."od, but that He is working through us. Thus, the works are by His grace and not through our natural human effort (or flesh).

    This may sound too easy, yet this is exactly what Jesus meant when He said "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" Matthew 11:28-30.

    The work of God is not meant to be performed in our own strength. By abiding in Christ, He inspires and enables us to do what He calls us to. The promise is that He will work it in us both to will and to do. This is a wonderful thing. Paul called it a mystery: "...this mystery among the gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
Colossians 1:27.

    We simply walk in that which God calls us to do in His grace. As it is written: "For we are His workmanship
(i.e. not our own) created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10.

    This verse states that we simply "walk in them." It doesn't say that we strive in them or work them up, but walk in them. This walk could involve some sacrifice and may not be easy on the flesh nature, but it will always be graceful to the spiritual person within us. It will be easy from the inside out because Christ Jesus is the Author of it. As it says in Ezekiel 36:27NIV: "I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees" and again in Zechariah 4:6 "Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts."

    You see, our hearts are much like a sail boat. All we need to be is open to the Lord and put up our sail. It is the wind that does all the work. As written in the Psalms: "I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth all things for me." Psalm 57:2.

    Jesus Himself said "Verily, verily I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." John 5:19.

    This is an amazing statement. Jesus is declaring His absolute dependence on the Father. Think of it. There were many people in need of healing in Jesus' time, yet Jesus did not run around frantically in His own power to heal them. He kept His eyes on the Father and healed only those to whom the Holy Spirit led Him or brought His way. He knew that His Father was in control of all things and trusted in Him.
The Lord does not want our works for Him to be dead works of striving in the natural energy. Many a Christian has been led astray by this error. Tired of trying to live up to the "Christian" performance they often fall away, burned out and resentful. Little do they understand that they have been trying to earn their favor with God instead of receiving His love and grace freely.

    Instead, our works are to be the fruit of a life of abiding in Christ. This is the work that will have lasting results and keep us in close relationship with Him and in love with Him.

    "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirt, offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:14.

    "Abide in me and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing." John 15:4-5.

    Any way you look at it, it still comes down to one word: Grace.

      Until next time,

       In Christ Jesus,

                   Richard       



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