Lam 3:21-27 I dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends. His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, the Lord is my inheritance; therefore I hope in Him! The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to quietly wait for salvation from the Lord. And it is good for people to submit at an early age to the yoke of his discipline.
Phil 2:1-8 If there is any encouragement in christ, any comfort from His love… Make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and one purpose. Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others too.
You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though He was God, He did not think equality with God as something to cling to. Instead he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human. When he appeared as a human, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross.
Phil 2:12-13 Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
How does God work in us to give us the desire to do what pleases him? Our natural fleshly desire is always to please self! Everything we are taught by the world is to promote self and improve self. Yet, Paul says, God’s work is to help us to not seek to please self, but to please God. How does that happen?
I think part of the answer to that question is what we read in Lam 3:21-27.
- Seeing by experience that God loves us with a faithful love. Knowing and believing his love for us will never end (Rom 8:37-39).
- Seeing by experience that God extends mercy to us over and over again. Every morning we wake up and see the sunrise is God’s mercy!
Recognizing those things produces a desire to depend on him and submit to him (Lam 3:27). I think that’s kind of what Paul was expressing in Phil 2:12. “Work hard to show the results of your salvation.” ESV says, “Work out your own salvation…” God’s mercy in your life, should produce something, it should yield a result! What result should it produce? Love for Him!
What Paul describes in Phil 2:2-8 is the result of verse 1. God’s mercies new every morning! Experiencing the faithful love of the Lord that never ends. (Lam 3:21) Encouraged from Christ in us (The greatest mercy God ever gave), comforted from that never ending love! The results of that should be, “do nothing out of selfish ambition… (Phil 2:3) “having the mind of Christ who emptied HIMSELF…” (Phil 2:7) That’s what working out our salvation is! (Phil 2:12) But it’s not something the flesh can do, nor will ever do. (Rom 8:7) The more we are occupied with Christ, God will be working in us “both the desire, and the power to do what pleases Him.” (Phil 2:13 NLT)
- Recognize God’s mercies… think about God’s mercy every time you see the sunrise.
- Meditate on God’s love in all He has done and is doing. It will never end!
- Continue to grow in being occupied with Him because of His mercy and love.
- As you grow in “working out” your salvation, I pray God will give you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.