Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. (Philippians 2:12)
The Greek word translated “fear” in this context can equally mean “reverence” or “respect.” Your salvation is precious and more valuable than any gold, silver or diamond. Continue in obedience to God’s will. Have great respect for this freedom that comes from Jesus Christ. Do not work out this freedom for vain nor evil things but rather for good works for God’s glory alone.
Work out your salvation to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Work out your salvation to do what is righteous.
Work out your salvation to care for widows and orphans.
Work out your salvation to encourage people in church to trust God more.
Work out your salvation and just to be kind to all you encounter.
A poor Christmas where you have faith in God is better than a rich Christmas where you put trust in people.
A poor Christmas as you read the Holy Scriptures is better than a rich Christmas listening to worldly music.
A poor Christmas with believers in Christ Jesus is better than a rich Christmas with those who do not honour Him.
A poor Christmas with Christ is better that a million rich Christmases without Christ.
A poor Christmas where you surrender yourself fully to Jesus Christ is better than a rich Christmas when you are full of yourself.
A poor Christmas where you pray humbly is better than a rich Christmas where you dance proudly.
A poor Christmas when you share bread with the poor is better than a rich Christmas when you eat with the impious.
A poor Christmas where you realize that only Jesus Christ can save you is better than a rich Christmas filled with the vanities of life.
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” -Matthew 5:3
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. (Psalm 91:5-6)
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place the Most High, who is my refuge no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. (Psalm 91:9-10)
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth. The Lord will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.(Pslam 121:1-2,7)
And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict on you, but he will lay them on all who hate you. (Deuteronomy 7:15)
No harm befalls the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble. (Proverbs 12:21)
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
Suggested prayer inspired by the above Bible verses:
In the name of Jesus, I will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday. I have made the Lord my dwelling place the Most High, who is my refuge and by faith I know that no evil shall be allowed to befall me, nor plague come near my dwelling. When I look up to the hills, I know for sure that my help comes from the Lord,who made heaven and earth. I believe that the Lord will keep me from all evil and he will keep my life. I pray that the Lord will take away from me all sickness because by his Holy Word I know that no harm befalls the righteous who trust in the Lord God. And I confess that Jesus himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds I have been healed. Amen.
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28-30)
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 11 For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So death is at work in us, but life in you. (2 Corinthians 4:7-12)
“And I tell you, every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. (Luke 12:8-9)
And brought them out and said, “Men, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:30-31)
Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on the law shall live by it. But the righteousness based on faith says, Do not say in your heart, “Who will ascend into heaven?” (that is, to bring Christ down or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach); because, if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved. The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:5-13)
Surely none who wait for You will be put to shame; but those who are faithless without cause will be disgraced. (Psalm 25:3)
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14)
Wait for the LORD and keep His way, and He will raise you up to inherit the land. When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. (Psalm 37:34)
I waited patiently for the LORD; He inclined to me and heard my cry. (Psalm 40:1)
Rest in God alone, O my soul, for my hope comes from Him. (Psalm 62:5)
I wait for the LORD; my soul does wait, and in His word I put my hope. (Psalm 130:5)
Do not say, “I will avenge this evil!” Wait on the LORD, and He will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22)
And in that day it will be said, “Surely this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He has saved us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited. Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” (Isaiah 25:9)
For the vision awaits an appointed time; it testifies of the end, and will not lie. Though it lingers, wait for it, since it will surely come and not delay. (Habakkuk 2:3)
20 In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and earthenware, and some for noble use, some for ignoble. 21 If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the house, ready for any good work. 22 So shun youthful passions and aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with stupid, senseless controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kindly to every one, an apt teacher, forbearing, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant that they will repent and come to know the truth, 26 and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:20-26)
Flee youthful lusts
The biggest obstacle for those who are after the Lord Jesus is about how they face temptations. Some people know how to resist temptation really well, while others end up falling into temptation. I’d say to anyone facing such a problem in their walk with Jesus Christ, is that they flee such temptations especially those one’s which are called youthful lusts.
So what are these youthful lusts and should be one’s reponse?
Usually, these are those lusts that happen during one’s youth most of the time. Not every youth faces them all and it can be just one of two temptations which they enticed into and However, it sometimes happens to people even later in life. Nevertheless, these are called youthful lusts. Some of these include:
- Bad companionship
- Drug abuse
- Sexual immorality
- Rebellion against parents
- Rebellion against authorities
- Pride excessively in oneself
Please make sure you repent of the above sins in the name of Jesus Christ and also repent of all other sins too. This way you will be pure in the Kingdom of God.
Let me also break it down what the next part in Timothy 2:22 means ( aim at righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart. ). Here we go:-
Aim at righteousness
Don’t be walking aimlessly in life. Especially when walking with Jesus Christ, this is a full-time thing that you aim for righteousness in your thoughts, words, and actions.
You can’t go on not believing in God’s existence and call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ. Such an attitude at best is hypocritical and must be eliminated from your life. The only way to please God is by having faith in Him. And yes, you can manifest this faith in your thoughts, words and actions as per the commandments of God.
Let me just speak what the Bible says: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
Peace, along with those who call upon the Lord from a pure heart.
Do everything that is only God to all who believe in the Lord Jesus. For this, you need to at peace with those at church, especially those from your friends and family too. Having respect for others who follow the Lord Jesus is important in your walk with Jesus.
Finally with regards to fleeing youthful lusts, always repent and never be a disgrace to your Christian community just because they’re forgiving and understanding. Take help from those strong in the faith. Never be ashamed to ask help from Jesus in prayer when faced with tempations. Remember that there is no repentance in the grave and charity begins at home.
Christ be with you!
All creation since Adam’s fall has been groaning,
But man by himself couldn’t do the atoning.
Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son,
Against sin, hell and death he has won.
Christ died on cross to save sinners,
That by believing in him they be winners.
Those who truly crucify the flesh,
Can live holy, free and afresh.
Jesus saves sinners both big and small,
If they confess their sin when they fall.
He forgives their sins if they repent,
From a sinful life which they have spent.
Know that terrible is the punishment for the unjust,
Hell and suffering eternal after turning to dust.
So call upon the Lord Jesus to be saved,
Lest you be unrepentant and enslaved.
A man from another religion once asked me, “I’m willing to join your religion (Christianity) but what’s in for me?”. I responded that he would go to heaven instead of hell after he dies. (This is taking into account that he becomes a Christian who follows and believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and his commandments in the true sense). Here’s how the rest of the conversation went on:
Man : “Is that all you have to offer?”
Myself : “Yes, aren’t you looking forward to everlasting life?”
Man : “Yes but I thought there some benefits more than that”
Myself : “What benefits are you referring to?”
Man : “I mean aren’t you Christians going to give me financial benefits for joining your religion?”
Myself : “No, but we can help you find a job if are unable to get something yourself”
Man : “Alright, I don’t need this religion”
Myself : “Okay fine, I see you made your choice because financial benefits is all you are after!”
Man :”I’ll be able to handle it from here”
Myself : “If you anytime again have thoughts about this, do reach out to the preacher of a church.”
Before all of that conversation started this same man was able to tell me the key principles of the Gospels, he also said he believed in the existence of Jesus and also his holy resurrection! Yet, somewhere down the line, his heart was attracted to the vanities of this world and in his case; the lust for wealth.
Indeed I now realize, ‘the love of money is root of all evil’ (refer 1 Timothy 6:10). I’m not saying you shouldn’t work to sustain yourself or your family nor count yourself a sinner just because you have some wealth. Here the key thing is that you should never be so attached to money that you forsake the Lord God and his commandments!
As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (Matthew 13:22)
In the case of this man or even I can say in the case of even of those who call them Christians but don’t like it, the deceitfulness of riches choke the true understanding of the Word of God, and so it proves unfruitful ie there is no action nor faith in line with the Word of God. But the love of money is just one of the vanities of life. Some people love to party, excessively that they miss out on praying and reading the Bible, let alone being at Church. Some people want to be famous so bad, that they willing do evil deeds be it violent or sensual just to be showing up on TV, the newspapers and social media in general. While some just want to laze around when it comes to God but are super active in the things of the world such as their jobs, their social status and friend circles, that they miss out both on prayer and good works which have been ordained by God for them.
Make it your choice to reject the vanity of the world and instead follow the Lord Jesus in the true sense of the Word!
Verses for reflection:
- For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. (Mark 8:35)
- For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36)
- And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
- For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)