He Starts And He Finishes
Philippians 1:3-6 NLT/AMP
3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
4 Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy,
5 for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now.
6 And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ right up to the time of His return, developing that good work and perfecting it and bringing it to full completion in you.
I have so much to learn from these few verses in the letter that Paul writes to the believers in Philippi.
Paul thinks of and remembers the fellow disciples of Christ, and is filled with thanksgiving to God. Paul pens these words while in captivity. He has every reason to be moaning about his condition and be wallowing in self-pity. But no! Paul is thinking of others with a grateful heart. A sure way to misery and unhappiness is to think of only oneself. If our thoughts are focused on us and not others, it is very easy to be discouraged, narrow-sighted and lacking joy.
Let us learn from Paul to be always remembering and thanking God for others. Thank God for our Pastors, leaders and fellow brothers and sisters whom God has placed in our lives for us to grow together in our walk with God and to grow His Kingdom. Be careful not to become a person preoccupied with pettiness who is always finding fault with others.
Paul remembers others every time he prays and joyfully makes requests and supplication for them. How beautiful and powerful when the Body of Christ daily prays and intercedes for one another every day. Imagine how when we do this, we are raising a shield of prayer and faith that deflects every attack from the enemy, and forging the Body of Christ to be a formidable and growing fortress.
Paul thanks God for the believers who are fellow partners and participants in the spreading of the Gospel. How important it is that you and I be active contributors in advancing the Good News about Christ alongside our fellow brothers and sisters. To be partners with one another is to be moving forward together towards a common goal. To be a participant is to be active in the works of sharing the Gospel and not be a spectator. We must not be sitting around and watching others do the work. Do not come into the fellowship of God’s people just to soak it all in. You and I are called to be active and faithful partners and participants in sharing the Good News that Jesus Christ saves.
Though confined in captivity, Paul remains confident because he knows whom to trust. He knows that what God starts, He finishes. We ought to have this same confidence. Praise God for the good work He has begun in us since we trusted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Praise God for the good work He has begun in our church where believers are growing in maturity and many others who are being saved are added to the Body of Christ. Praise God for His promise that He is going to continue and complete this good work!
You and I must cooperate with God and commit to carry on this good work not by our own effort and strength, but by depending on His power and wisdom. Very often, we sabotage the way God wants to move in our lives and in our church by veering to our own human wisdom and methods. This is especially so when things do not turn out according to our expectation and our time line. But it is Christ Who continues, develops, completes and brings to full completion the good work He has begun in us, not us. When our confidence is not placed in this very truth, we stop ourselves from being used by God the way He intends, we hinder ourselves from being transformed the way God wants to transform us and we limit ourselves from being a blessing to others as God has called us to be. This is certainly not a good place to be in.
Today, let us make a renewed commitment to trust in God as the Author and Finisher of our life and our church. And let us be united with our fellow brothers and sisters to be actively and faithfully spreading the Gospel and bringing the lost to receive and believe this Good News.
Let us pray.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your promise that You are working in me to carry on the good work You have begun in me till its complete perfection. I cease to depend on my strength nor will I grow weary or give up on doing good but trust in You for ability and wisdom. I thank You for Your faithfulness, and I surrender my life to You for Your use. I pray that every believer in Your church rises up from our apathy and indifference to be an active and passionate disciple that brings the Good News about Jesus Christ to many, bringing many to cross from death to life. Teach us, O Father, to be one united Body of Christ advancing Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”