5-13-2018 As My Lord Desires


MAY 13, 2018


I was listening to Dave Ramsey’s financial program this week and heard a young man call in seeking financial direction. I don’t recall his exact question but Dave always asks pertinent questions concerning the caller’s finances so he can provide solid biblical advice. In response to Dave’s questioning the young man described where he was financially and concluded with a statement, “…and I tithe like I supposed to”.


Normally, I would have let that response pass by without a second thought but, this time, I felt the Holy Spirit jab me a little. It was the, “…like I am supposed to”, that grabbed my attention. Spend some time listening to yourself. If you do, you’ll find that we do that a lot in our Christian walk… describe how we follow the rules… walk the line… toe the guidelines. Sounds good, but when these become our goal or our unit of measurement, we can become legalistic in our interpretation of God’s Word. We measure our relationship (i.e., if God is pleased with us) with how we check off the boxes… in a way we become no different than those who feel that God’s Word demands we ‘WORK FOR OUR SALAVATION”.


Perhaps we fall into that trap because checking off the boxes give us satisfaction in measurable results.


  • Daily devotions
  • Prayer
  • Witnessing
  • Love my spouse
  • Love my neighbor
  • Use my spiritual gift
  • Tithe
  • Attend service


Feels good doesn’t it… checking those boxes I mean. I know exactly what that young man was sharing and my intent is not to criticize him. Praise the Lord he desires to be part of God’s ministry through his tithes and offerings. But consider this…. Yes, the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write…


Philippians 2:12 (NASB)
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;


But the instruction Paul gives to “work out your salvation” in the original Greek is translated from a ‘present middle imperative’ word which carries with it the idea that it is ‘continuing action’. This phrase might therefore read that we are to “keep on working out to completion, to ultimate fulfillment, your salvation.” When you combine that phrase with the Greek word translated “your”, which has an empathic meaning and may be translated “your own”, it becomes evident that we are to NEVER GIVE UP FULFILLING GOD’S WORK SET BEFORE YOU AND FOR YOU PERSONALLY… IT IS YOUR LABOR OF LOVE”


We don’t accomplish that by robotic repetitious obedience… fulfillment requires a continuous love relationship with Christ who has graciously granted us ‘our own’ salvation. This is where the young man comes into the picture from the Dave Ramsey program…


In everything we do for our Lord (in fact God’s Word says, “Whatever you do”) … you name it… it is my conviction that it first flows out of LOVE FOR OUR LORD RECEIVED FROM THE LORD. So, the next time we’re tempted to describe our response to our Lord’s commands as, “As I am supposed to” how about we consider rephrasing that to, “AS MY LORD DESERVES.”

Thank you for your faithfulness. Pastor Larry