Work It Out - January 17, 2023
Tuesday, January 17th
Devotional written by Pastor Dick Thompson, Seasoned Adults Pastor
WORK IT OUT
To read today: Romans 8:3-11
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.
I am reading the letters that a pastor father wrote to his pastor son about his experiences in planting a church. Most would say his ministry would be considered a “success.” I found his own assessment freeing. He wrote, “I felt like I made many mistakes.” His honesty reminds me of another pastor’s vision-casting sermon in which he described their work in the future as “fumbling forward.”
When the apostle says, “work out your own salvation,” he means something similar, “figure it out!” As Christ followers, we will make many mistakes. We will fumble the ball. We may be tempted by our own “flesh” thinking to believe we are “failures” and that someone else should do this. But we forget that God is at work within us and among us. Our “mistakes” and “fumblings” become opportunities for Him to accomplish His work we otherwise could not conceive as needed.
Remember two things the next time some dear soul shares a hard thing with you. One is that in your attempt to help, you may well make mistakes. Second, remember you are not the only one present. His Spirit, our loving Lord, is with you both to will and work for His good pleasure. That “mistakes” you inevitably will make are learnings. And the ball you fumble, by His amazing grace, fumbles forward.
Lord, I confess I want guarantees that what I do for you will “go well.” Otherwise, let someone else step up. Free me up from “flesh” thinking. Help me as I work out this new way of life and face the challenges in living and loving like Jesus.