July 13, 2014

God Is Faithful to His Story

Philippians 2:1-13

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.”
—Philippians 2:12-13


A good story always has a way of catching you by surprise, even if you know how the story ends. Classic fairy tales have become very familiar in many cultures, yet those same stories have kept generations of children wanting to hear them again and again. Classic novels and movies have become familiar to many of us also, yet they still keep us on the edge of our seats. Though these stories may become familiar, they still manage to catch us by surprise, and we appreciate the complex twists and turns of the story lines. We know how these stories turn out, but the suspense still seems to grab us.

God’s gospel stories are no different. While the familiar death-to-life theme surfaces often, we can still be swept up in a story’s suspense and action. And we often forget some of the details, even if we’ve heard the stories since we were children.

I have that. The story of my life shows an unbroken pattern of God’s faithfulness, even in hard times. Yet I still forget. With each new challenge or crisis, I find myself wondering whether God will really come through one more time. Silly me!

When that happens, I need some­one to remind me what’s really going on. That’s what the apostle Paul does in our reading for today. Follow through on your salvation because deep down you can trust where this story is going: God is working in you for his good purpose.

God, if we forget your goodness, please forgive us and remind us again of your great love. Amen.

About the author — Ron Vanderwell

Ron Vanderwell recently became the senior pastor of New Life Church in New Lenox, Illinois. He has been a pastor for 22 years, serving as a church planter for the previous 12 years at The Gathering in Sacramento, California, and before that as a pastor in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Ron and his wife, Deb, have three sons: John, Adam, and Jake. Ron shares more of his reflections on “squinting” for God in his blog at www.squintforgod.com.

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