Daily Devotional ThoughtsThis Week’s Study: Philippians 2:12-24Monday - God “Works In You Both To Will and To Do!”Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).So which is it? Do I “work out [my] “own salvation with fear and trembling?” Or is it “God who works in [me] both to will and to do for His good pleasure?” Must I “work out” my way to eternal salvation or do I allow God to do His work in me? The answer? Both.No one else can cooperate with God to bring me salvation. I, and I alone, can surrender my stubborn, sinful will to God. And I need to approach it with very real fear and trembling for I cannot afford to be eternally lost. With eternity at stake wisdom dictates my approaching this thing with earnest attention!However, I cannot ever save myself. All my righteousness is “like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). All I can do to “work out my own salvation” is to allow God to work in my life, and thankfully that is enough. “[F]or it is God who works in you both to will and to do . . . .” (Philippians 2:13). What a tremendous promise! Let Him work!Tuesday - Don’t Whine and Argue.Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world (Philippians 2:14-15).Our calling? To shine as lights in this world of crooked and perverse people. How do we do that? How do we stop whining and disputing? Somewhere I heard: “If you really want to know what is inside, just see what comes splashing out when you are shaken up!” Our words do reflect what is happening inside. And our tongues bring either blessing or disaster to others. “Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!” (James 3:5 -KJV).But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so (James 3:8-10).So how can I be a light to those around me? I must allow God to control my innermost thoughts and attitudes. “[F]or it is God who works in you both to will and to do . . . .” (Philippians 2:13). Then, the words splashing out of my mouth will be words of blessing rather than cursing.Wednesday - Hold Fast the Word Of Life.[H]old . . . fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain (Philippians 2:16).Someone has said: “The problem with life is that it is just so daily!” Perhaps you too have noticed how daily the grind of life can be. And in the pressure and rush of each day, ignoring God and His word is so tempting. You know the drill: “Well I’m late, just gotta run, I’ll take time tonight to read God’s Word.” Tonight: “I’m too tired now, I’ll go on to sleep and in the morning I’ll be sure to fellowship with God.” Pretty soon I’ve gone seven days without God and I quickly discover that seven days without God makes one weak!I don’t want to be weak spiritually. I can’t afford to be spiritually weak and neither can you. We must let nothing dissuade us from investing time in our relationship with God. Today’s Challenge: Hold fast to the word of life. Let nothing dissuade you!Thursday - You Know His Character.Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me. But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me (Philippians 2:17-23).Paul was glad that he could pour out his life as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of his converts at Philippi. The allegory comes from the Old Testament sacrificial services. He sees the Philippians offering up their lives and faith as sacrifices accompanied by the offering up of his life as a “libation” (Greek) or drink offering.We can get so caught up in Paul’s theology that we forget he was writing from prison. Whether house arrest or prison cell he must have lived in a significant degree of isolation. Of course he had no telephone, no telegraph, no radio or TV and he couldn’t just hop a ship or ride a camel over to visit with his friends. He was human with the same hunger for news of his friends and fellowship with them that we have today. And he said, “I have no one who is like me, who truly cares for your spiritual condition, except for Timothy.” His circle of trusted colleagues was just about depleted, since he had already sent his trusted and faithful companion, Epaphroditus back (Philippians 2:25-30).“You know Timothy. You know his character. You know he served with me like a son as we shared the gospel. I’m going to send Timothy as soon as I know what’s happening to me here. He’ll let you know what going on and bring your news back to me.“Lord, help me to live so that, like Timothy, others will know my proven character. Amen”Weekend - But I Trust In The Lord!But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly (Philippians 2:24).How is your trust in the Lord? Already in our study of Philippians, we have seen that Paul’s trust in God was absolute. Remember he said in Philippians 1:21 “For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” He was okay either way.In his second letter to Timothy he expressed great confidence in the reward awaiting him at Christ’s return:For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (2 Timothy 4:6-8).What about you my friend? How is your trust in the Lord? By His grace, are you fighting a good fight? Do you have confidence that no matter what comes, you belong to Christ? Are you looking forward to Christ’s return? If not, today is a great day to surrender your life to Christ so that you, too, can await that crown of righteousness.