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Just Say Yes
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There’s something God can’t do. You’ll have to do it for yourself.

There’s something you can’t do for yourself. God will have to do it for you.

What are these? You’ll find the answer in the following Bible verses. “So work with fear and trembling to discover what it really means to be saved. God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey Him” (Philippians 2:12, 13 CEV).

Verse 12 tells you to work out your own salvation. But verse 13 says, it’s God who’s working in you. Does the Bible contradict itself here?  Not really. Not if you understand the difference between your work and God’s work.

You see, the words translated work in verses 12 and 13 are two completely different words in the original Greek language in which the Bible was written. These differences are not readily apparent in our English translation.

Personal Choice

For example, in verse 12, the Greek word for work is katergazo. This refers to work that God can’t do. He can’t make personal choices for you. That’s your job.

In verse 13, the word for work is energion. We get our word energy from this Greek word. This word describes work that you can’t do. Only God can. You can’t save yourself. God’s Word tells us plainly, “You were saved by faith in God, Who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God’s gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own” (Ephesians 2:8, CEV).

No, you can’t save yourself. But you can choose. You can give God your consent for Him to do this for you. And, if you will do your part—if you will choose to do God’s will, and to follow His plans for your life—God will then work through you to do what you can never do on your own.

But even though we make our own choices, at the end of the day all the credit goes to God. The following verse makes this perfectly clear. “For God is at work within you, helping you want to obey Him, and then helping you do what He wants” (Philippians 2:13, The Living Bible.)

Why not just say Yes to God?  He’ll never say No to you.

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By Bob DuBose. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION ® and the NEW LIVING TRANSLATION © copyright 1996.


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