Fbcsreadthruthebible's Blog

Part of the FBCS 2010 Read Through the Bible Project: Enter the Story. Join the Song.

GPS? You Still Make the Turn . . .

Philippians 1:1-11   Ezekiel 18   Isaiah 47

“The righteousness of the righteous shall be his own” (Ezekiel 18:20) and “the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own.” So speaks the Lord in the eighteenth chapter of Ezekiel to an exiled people who would much rather blame their ancestors for their predicament than take responsibility for their own behavior. Place next to this Isaiah’s word to an overconfident Babylon, who feels “secure” in wickedness because “no one sees me” (Isaiah 47:10) and Paul’s prayer that the Philippian believers will be equipped to make Christ-honoring choices (Philippians 1:9-11) . . . the matter of personal responsibility is a primary theme in today’s readings.

“Why will you die, O house of Israel?” (Ezekiel 18:31). The question is a matter of choice. Why would God’s people — why would anyone — choose to die? And it is a choice; for God, who takes “no pleasure in the death of anyone,” has provided a living option: “Turn, then, and live” (v.32). It is an incredible work of grace, fully accomplished in Jesus Christ! And God, who has begun this work and would rather that all turn and live (Ezekiel 18:23), is committed to seeing it through to completion (Ephesians 1:6) in those who “get” themselves “a new heart and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 18:31). How? By turning from the story they are writing on their own and entering God’s story of salvation; a story that can’t be inherited or ignored.

“And this is my prayer . . .” (Philippians 1:9). Overflowing love, relational knowledge, spiritual insight . . . all with the goal of taking personal responsibility for living a life that produces “the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God” (v.11). It is an outcome made possible by God’s grace and personal responsibility working together. It might be thought of in this way: God’s GPS (Great Plan of Salvation???) provides the directions, but it is still our responsibility to make the turn. May we turn and receive God’s gracious gift of life. And may we live the life we are given with intentionality, personal responsibly, and confidence in God’s GPS. Amen.

“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”
— Philippians 1:6

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