(Jan 19) God Completes What He Starts
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
My family moved to Mustang, Oklahoma in the year 2000. Shortly thereafter, construction on a large building began off a nearby highway. I remember wondering what the structure was going to be. The construction seemed to lag, yet little by little progress was being made. Weeks turned to months, and eventually, even longer. Then, the progress stopped altogether. For years this building remained incomplete. All the planning, expense, and labor was in vain. The structure simply sat off the highway for years as a living testimony to an abandoned work.
Have you ever imagined your spiritual life to be like that building? Do you fear that God will give up on you or abandon the work He is doing in your life? Philippians 1:6 gives us the steadfast promise that the Lord will indeed complete the work He has begun in His children.
Perhaps when you reflect on your life, you see a disappointing pattern of well-intentioned but incomplete commitments. Have you made a one-year commitment to read through the Bible only to quit before you finish Leviticus? Maybe each new year prompts a commitment to get into shape, but your resolve never makes it to Spring Break? Beginnings are often quick and easy, but completion requires the endurance that few possess.
Scripture encourages us by making clear that our spiritual journey will be completed. Why can we be so confident? Because the “good work” does not depend upon our good intentions or will-power. It is the Lord who will finish the work He has begun in His children. We will not be abandoned.
Philippians 1:6 unapologetically confirms that God is doing the work. All of your spiritual life is a good work of God. Theologians speak of this journey in three parts: justification (our conversion), sanctification (our spiritual maturity), and glorification (being with the Lord in Heaven). Each step of our pilgrimage is directed by our Heavenly Father. We can take comfort in the knowledge that God is our guide and the One who will complete the work Himself.
Paul also stresses that this good work is something God initiates. The Bible teaches that none are righteous and no one seeks after God (Romans 3:10-11). This truth would leave us in utter despair apart from the amazing reality that the Lord Himself initiates our salvation. It is God who began the good work in each of us. The Lord heals. He opens blind eyes. He unstops deaf ears. He alone commands the dead to live again. Rightly does Hebrews 12:2 describe Christ as “the founder and perfecter of our faith.” How is it that you belong to Jesus today? It is because He began the work of saving you! It is error to believe that God added His goodness to ours. We have no righteousness apart from the redemptive power of God. None! Believers can only let their lights shine and perform good works because God has first begun His good work within us.
Finally, be encouraged by the truth that God will complete His plan. Paul says that God will continue the work He initiated in order to bring you to your appointed end: eternity with Christ. As we are being prepared for Heaven, Jesus is preparing Heaven for us. One day, in God’s timing, Jesus will return to the earth, not in humility as before, but in authority such that the world will see the undeniable truth that He is the King of all Kings and the Lord of all Lords. The Lord has started the work, it is a good work, and He will see it through until all is completed and perfected.
Philippians 1:6 is one of the many verses of Scripture that is an anchor for our joy. We would do well to hide it deep within our hearts as we meditate often on this powerful truth. We can rest assured that we will be held eternally secure because it is God who holds us. God started the work, God sustains us as we work, and God completes His work. We can have confidence in our salvation because the Word of God has given us every reason to trust in the power and promises of the Lord.
What guarantee is there that we will not find ourselves abandoned like the large building off the highway? Because God is in control and He finishes what He promises to achieve. How do we know that we will not be left unfinished along the wayside? Our confidence is anchored in the knowledge that of all the Father has given to the Son, not one will He lose (John 6:39). He will finish what He has begun!
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