My 'Life Verse' is Philippians 3:16
"Only let us live up to what we have already attained."
This verse always refocuses me on the task of my personal sanctification. It is my 'working out my salvation with fear and trembling.'
I whole heartedly believe in salvation by grace alone. There is no way I can do anything to merit favor with God. There is no quality or quantity of good things I can do to 'get me into heaven.' Salvation is God's work. I am totally, utterly dependent upon His extention of favor to me. He is the active agent in my redemption! Ephesians 2:8,9 says it best "It is by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not from yourself it is a gift of God, not by works so that no one can boast."
But tangent to Ephesians 2:8,9 are these words:
"For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to DO GOOD WORKS which God has prepared in advance for us to do."
This is the part of the verse that Phil 3:16 points me to - 'living up to what I have already attained." All these attainments are granted by Christ to us at the moment of salvation -
I am a BORN again, new kind of person, baptized in the Spirit, adopted into God's family!
I am no longer an object of God's wrath but a child made worthy of His affection. I am a member of Christ body, grafted into His Church by Christ Himself - gifted to serve Him and that body that bears His name. I am free to be all that His willed me to be!
I can 'live up to what I have attained' because God has empowered me to do so!
I am given tremendous encouragement by Paul's words in Eph 2:10 for several reasons:
1. I am God's personal masterpiece (workmanship). When it's all said and done He gets the glory because He is the artist - I am the lump of clay.
2. He created me, called me, saved me through the merits and work of Christ to do good works. He saved me for a reason that fits into His plan. I am an important cog in God's machine - I am irreplaceable (as are you) There is no one who is insignificant to God's plan. I have something He wants me to do - that only I can do. He has something He wants you to do that only you can do! You are unique - you are important. He has chosen you for an express purpose. And guess what - you can't screw it up. That's the power of the third point!
3. He has prepared these works in advance for you and me to do. You can't thwart His plan. His will is sovereign! You will fulfill God's plan for your life. Nothing can stand in the way. Not Satan, not your spouse, not your kids or family, not your past, not your present, not your flesh, not your sin...NOTHING!
How do you know what that 'will' is for you? Just live your life - don't worry about it - God's got it all under control.
We are invaluable, irreplaceable, significant players in God's divine novel. He is the author and perfector - we are the actors following His divine direction.
You will fulfill God's will for your life. He said it - that settles it!