We are given many encouragements in the scripture to make an effort to do the right thing. Here are a few such encouragements. 2 Peter 1:5-11 “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:14-15 “Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” 1 John 3:10 “In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother.” Hebrews 13:16 “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”
Our works do not save us. Salvation is a gift of God. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Our motivation for doing the right thing is the grace of God. Titus 2:11-12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age.” Because we appreciate the marvelous grace of God towards us, we will deny ungodliness and world lusts and we will live soberly, righteously, and godly. We are also motivated by love to keep His commandments. Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
While there is effort on your part to make good decisions, to live righteously and keep His commandments, you should not think that you do this all by yourself. God is also working within you. Philippians 2:12-13 “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” This passage encourages you to work out your salvation but it also describes how God works in you to will and do for His good pleasure. You work and God works in you also. Hebrews 13:20-21 “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
God’s power works in us and strengthens us. Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” The apostle Paul stated in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Our strength and power come from God.
God helps us to overcome. He can deliver us from temptations. 2 Peter 2:9 “Then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment.” He can keep you from stumbling. Jude 24-25 “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.” He can deliver us from the evil one. Matthew 6:13 “And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
God even supplies us with the ability to accomplish acts of service. 1 Peter 4:11 “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” God gives us everything so there is no room for boasting or pride. 1 Corinthians 4:7 “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” God is the source of everything and gives you the ability to be who you are; this fact should cause you to abandon pride in what you accomplish.
God wants to continue working in you and make you what He wants you to be. Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 5:10 “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”
I encourage you to appreciate the work that God is doing in you when you let Him work in your life.