“From time to time,” Stan began, “we’ve talked about the whole notion of working out the salvation that has been worked in through the finished work of Christ.”
“We have,” I responded. “About how we are supposed to do something beyond just sitting on the platform waiting for the train to glory.”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “And I saw a perfect example of that in a very short story about the apostle Peter’s mother-in-law.”
“Peter was married?” I asked.
“That’s what it says,” Stan said. “And the important part for me is that at one point she was sick in bed with a fever.”
“How in the world could her being sick in bed have any impact on you?” I asked.
“Jesus touched her and she was made well,” Stan said. “I see this as the same with me. I was sick in the bed of being separated from God. He touched me and I was made well by having the assurance of spending eternity with Him when it’s time.”
“Okay,” I replied, “but what does that have to do with working out the salvation that was worked in by the finished work of Christ?”
“After Peter’s mother-in-law was made well by Jesus’ touch,” Stan said, “she got out of bed and began to serve Jesus. Same with me and with everyone who is made well by Jesus’ touch. I got up and began to serve Him. I think that’s what all of us are to do.”
“Rather than laying in bed being thankful for being well?” I asked. “Is that the point?”
“Exactly,” Stan replied. “It’s just like I’m not to sit on the platform waiting for the train clutching my ticket being thankful I’m heading for glory.”
“No,” he continued, “as the station master told you in the beginning, and as Peter’s mother-in-law did, we are to respond to being made well by serving God in whatever way He has for us to serve Him.”
“And,” Stan concluded, “that can’t be done by staying in bed or by sitting on the station platform!”
And when Jesus had come to Peter’s home, He saw his mother-in-law lying sick in bed with a fever. And He touched her hand, and the fever left her; and she arose, and began to wait on Him. Matthew 8:14, 15.
Work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12, 13.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for making me well in the sense I am no longer separated from you. Thank you I can look forward with assurance to spending eternity in your presence when it’s time. Thank you, too, that you have left me on this side of eternity to work out that salvation by serving you. I confess that too often I look at eternal salvation as the whole story, rather than as the beginning of my serving you in gratitude for your free and gracious gift. Please, Father, help me follow your lead in being only who and what you intend while I wait for the train into your eternal presence. Thank you I can and I do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Think on this: Have you been made well for eternal purposes by the touch of Jesus? If not, why? If you have been made well and have the assurance of salvation, what does that mean for you on this side of eternity? Are you working out that salvation? Why or why not? What does that “working out” look like to you? What does it look like to God? If you are not working it out, do you want to do so, but are not sure what it means? If so, do you know where to get help with that?