Monday, March 30, 2015

On The Road To Completion

“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”
Philippians (1:6)

One of the greatest blessings of my life was the night that I invited Jesus Christ into my heart as my Lord and Savior at an altar call standing next to my precious nine-year-old son. We had been attending for weeks, and I had been resisting the tugging of the Holy Spirit. And it was no different that night until I looked up and saw my sweet boy walking up the altar to give his life to Christ. I could no longer resist the Holy Spirit. I knew God was calling me by name. Hand in hand, my son and I received the gift of salvation. Our eternal destiny changed that night, but my personal road to the altar of salvation began in the heart of a little girl so many years before, who did not know love, security, acceptance, or joy, but was blessed to have seeds of hope sown into her life by God’s people. So like Paul, I can stand in complete confidence that my God is faithful to finish the work that He began, but salvation is just the beginning.

So what exactly is the work that He started, and what does the completed work look like?  It is the work of sanctifying, purifying, and transforming us into the image of Jesus. Romans 8:29 declares, "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestined TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." At the moment of salvation, God begins the process of transforming us into the very image of Christ which means that we are a work in progress.  God is not finished with us yet.

There is good news and bad news in this profound truth. The good news is that God will not leave us as we are, so we have hope for the future. The bad news is that He will not leave us as we are, so he starts to chip away at us, and sometimes it’s quite painful, but His goal is always to conform us to the image of Christ.  The Christian life is difficult and can be marked with much suffering.  In Acts 14:22 we read that Paul encouraged the believers facing persecution and trials... “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” This servant of God understood that it is in our darkest trials where we encounter the Living God and learn to cling to Him and find our sufficiency in Him and Him alone.  So be encouraged Child of God.  Many of us have a long way to go and have to travel many miles on the sanctification road, but He is not finished with us. 

If you are losing hope in your trial -- if you are feeling defeated -- if you’ve blown it -- don’t give the enemy victory.  Learn the lesson that God wants to teach you, and get up and walk. He is not finished with you yet.  And that goes for those you love – your prodigals, your relationships, etc.  If He began the work, He will complete it on either side of Heaven. 

Someday you and I will stand before Jesus Christ as redeemed children of God—holy, blameless, and complete in every way.  We are far from that now, but someday everything unfinished will be finished, broken things will be made whole, wounds will be healed, what is incomplete will be made complete. Has God begun a good work in your life? Do you feel incomplete and unfinished?  Do not fear, child of God, He has promised to do it, and he cannot lie. Do not lose hope. Do not be discouraged. He will be faithful to complete His work in you.

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