Frank Hay

Frank Hay

Php 2:12-13: "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for God's at work in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

To some, this is a declaration of terror. Its early morning, and you remember some gift needs putting together. You gather parts, screws or bolts, tools and find a place to spread out and begin. It is then that you figure it’s not as easy as you might think. Sound familiar? There are many things in life we think we want; we even begin the process and then realize some assembly is required. It may even be something we need, yet the task ahead is daunting, and we give up or at lease put it off until a more convenient time.

In some ways, our life as a child of God is like that. We join a church because we want to go to heaven when we die. God gives us the parts, even the instructions, but we seem to want it all handed over in its final form without any effort on our part. We feel Christmas or Easter completes our obligation and perhaps a dollar or two occasionally.

Jesus once stated that He was the vine and we are the branches. Anyone with any knowledge of plant growth is aware that when the branch is separated from the vine, it will wither and die. Being away from its life’s source means death.

Jesus said that we must become as a little child with the curiosity and energy to learn and grow. No matter how we might like to be younger, no one would like to be a child all their lives - never growing up, never being able to eat solid foods or walk or ride a bike, etc. Growing is a definite for humans, first born and second birth alike. We must learn and grow and become an adult, and it takes effort, it takes work. If we do not grow in our faith, we become stagnant or stunted. Either way, we are not useful to our Lord.

I certainly pray to hear our Lord say, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." How about you?

Living with God in the place He has prepared, we will have great opportunity to know Him very closely - or perhaps you are planning to hide behind something and not be seen. My dear friends, that will not work. Our heavenly father will know everyone present, and those not committed (saved) will not be present. That is a fact. If we have played at our Godly relationship, be reminded that God will not be fooled or mocked. Paul tells us: Don’t stop halfway; keep on working until the work of salvation is brought to completion in your life. No Christian should be satisfied with anything less than the total benefits offered by the gospel.

Please do not read this as a “works” salvation. Salvation is belief in Jesus alone. I point you to the daily benefits of salvation, and it takes effort to mine the gems. Daily fellowship with Jesus is so great that I would not want anyone to miss out on it. If you have not tried it, please do so now.

J. Frank Hay Jr. is a pastor and chaplain in Orangeburg.

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