Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed - not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence - continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.

In this passage, Paul writes to the Christians of Philippi telling them to keep on doing what they have been doing from the very beginning. As if Christ was still there Paul tells them to keep obeying his words and commands in a Christ-like manner. Paul encourages them that in doing this it is not through merit or works that salvation is earned it is through God’s unfailing love and grace that he works in each and everyone of us “to fulfill his good purpose.” That when we so desperately grasp on the Word of God we are not alone, it is God working through each and every one of us. The way we carry ourselves in our daily life has power; we have the ability to show others who Jesus is just by being ourselves.

It’s easy to walk around and think that what we do on the outside is the only thing that people see, if we have it all together to other people than we are doing fine. But how easy is it to complain to your friends that your roommate is too loud or too messy? Its easy to walk into a classroom with an attitude of annoyance thinking “why do I have to be here?” It’s even easier to argue with your parents just because they are your parents. All of that is so easy to do. But both our actions and words have tremendous power. When we walk around with these attitudes whether people can see it from the outside or not we are prohibiting the Lord from moving through us.

We have a choice to partner with God or without Him. And why wouldn’t we want to be on the same team as the creator of the universe? Why wouldn’t we want to work with Our Heavenly Father? We can do this by being more like Him. And to be more like Him we first have to know Him in order to know His character. We can do this by reading His truth, praying, and just spending time with Him. When Jesus died on the cross He left His spirit with us. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit, the advocate, the comforter. That is who is working through us to reach others. So even though we may just be complaining to our roommates or to our parents those words still have power. Instead we can walk with the joy, peace and strength that the Lord had. And even on our worst days or after getting the worst grades back we have the choice to keep our hands open. We have the choice to have an attitude that can affect the people around us in both a positive or negative way. We have the choice to show others who Jesus is by trying to be more like Him in our everyday life.

Lord, I thank you that you have never left us and that you will never leave us. I ask that as we continue to go throughout this week that we would have this deeper hunger and desire to know you and be more like you. That we would be able to trust you and trust the ways you are working for and through us. And even when it is easy to grumble or complain that we would choose against it. That we wouldn’t want to complain, we wouldn’t want to talk bad about others. That we would want to shine your light with every single step we take.

- Ashley Gibson