Our scripture today is Philippians 2:12-16.

“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. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”

Paul calls the church to work together for their own good as well as the mission they have been given from Christ. Additionally he teaches us do so without “grumbling or arguing”, something that even the church can fall into. This lesson is as valid today as when Paul wrote to the Philippians.

We have a special responsibility to God and each other, to love and care for the creation we have been given. While we all have the same goal, we may see different ways to achieve that. As the body of Christ we must insure that we focus on that goal and not our own feelings.

Jesus taught that we are each beloved children of God, but that our love and care for each other must outweigh our love of self. Each obstacle we encounter must be prayerfully considered and we must allow the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts and actions. If we simply follow our own way, we often fall away. We must die to self and live for Christ in order to be saved.

Gracious God, help us to be more like Jesus, using Your gifts to make a better world for all Your children. Bless us as we go to do Your will. Amen.

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