By Greg Laurie
Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
In 1787, on the final day of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, a woman known as Mrs. Powell said to Benjamin Franklin, “Well, doctor, what have we got? A republic or a monarchy?”
Franklin famously responded, “A republic, madam—if you can keep it.”
A good beginning doesn’t guarantee that you will have a good ending. If you’re running in a race but don’t finish it, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve held the first-place position for nine out of ten laps. If you don’t finish the race, you don’t win the prize.
The same is true of the Christian life. We want to finish strong. But we decide now how we will do later in life. We don’t decide later.
For example, maybe you’ve been married for two years, and you say, “I want to have a strong marriage 42 years from now.” That’s great. You must decide that today and every day, you will do everything you can to strengthen your marriage. Don’t wait until you’re older, because as you get older, you get set in your ways. You like routine. You like predictability. You like to do things the way you’ve always done them. Decide now. Establish good patterns now. You decide now how it will end up.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him” (Philippians 2:12–13 NLT).
No Christian ever reaches a plateau where he or she says, “I don’t need to go to church anymore. I don’t need to read the Bible anymore. I’ve arrived.”
One way you’ll know whether you’re growing spiritually is when you realize that you need to continue growing spiritually.
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