November 12, 2022

Work Out Your Salvation

Written by Tripp Prince

God is always with you, willing and working for your salvation.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 12, 2022

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but 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 work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13, ESV

It’s easy to have an overly fatalistic view of the world and our place within it. In the face of so much evil and brokenness, what change can we actually produce? Similarly, in our own hearts and lives, as we are aware of the selfishness and sin that lurks about, can we truly expect to see real and lasting change that transforms our daily lives with God and others? 

St. Paul unashamedly clings to a vision of transformation, believing the power of God is at work in the life of the believer to bring about a salvation that not only promises hope for eternity but a changed existence in the here and now. Of course, this belief for him was not abstract or theoretical but was rooted in his own lived experience of the faith. When he reminds the Philippians that “it is God who works in you,” surely his own Damascus Road encounter with the living God was on his mind. God broke into his world and spoke life where there was death and redirected Paul’s life in ways that left him forever changed. Yes, God both revealed his will to Paul and gave him the power to live it out, and yet Paul still had to choose to obey and respond. The same is true for every follower of Christ.

The power of Paul’s apostolic ministry was rooted in his new life in Christ. He was a changed man, restored and made whole by the love of God at work in his life. Paul was a living testimony to the truth that God can redeem any story and bring life where there was once death. This was what people encountered in Paul, and why they were so eager to follow him. And while commending and celebrating their openness to the gospel and obedience to his leadership, Paul says something here in today’s passage that is of utmost importance: the transformation he experienced was meant to be their own lived reality. 

Think of the most Christlike person you’ve ever encountered, someone who exudes a humility and self-giving love that can only come through the Spirit of God at work in and through them. You long to be in their presence, do you not? Simply being with them encourages your faith and inspires your devotion. This is a good and beautiful thing, and we should seek these people out in intentional ways! And yet, Paul reminds us today that our faith cannot solely be sustained by the faith of others but must be personally rooted in the lived presence of God.

We need people who inspire us toward lives of obedience and trust in God. Yet they are not with us 24/7, so when we are apart, we must remember that the Spirit is with us always, daily inviting us into the same life of peace and joy that we’ve seen in others. Wherever you may be and whomever you may be with, remember that God is always with you, willing and working for your salvation. Choose today to take a step toward him in faithful obedience, believing the change you’ve seen in others is also possible for you.


Father, as we give thanks for your work in other people’s lives and the inspiration it brings, help us to also cling to the hope that you are working in our lives today, renewing and remaking us evermore into the likeness of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Reflect on the people in your life that have most fully reflected the transforming power of the Spirit. While giving thanks for them, pray also that your own life may reflect the life of God in similar ways.

Related Reading

1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Corinthians 3:4-6; Hebrews 13:21

Worship Resource

Matt Redman: Build My Life


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