Grace For The Journey
The next time you find yourself frustrated by failure – either yours or somebody else’s – remember that both of you are still under construction, as Scripture clearly attests. The Bible says in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it at the day of Jesus Christ.”
To know that God is not finished with us yet is to know an incredibly comforting truth! Until we leave this life, we all will be under construction . . . a work in progress . . . and that means we all will make mistakes along the way.
I preached on this text many years ago and my oldest daughter, Cathy, was paying close attention. As we were working through a “minor” issue that all parents of 16 year-olds go through, Cathy reminded me: “Dad, God is not finished with me yet!”
We all need this Gospel-reminder daily. God is the One who began the work in us and is also the One who will complete it. Because of this, we can rest in our redemption, knowing the power for positive change is found in the promise itself, “for it is God who works in you both to will and to do according to His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) What God promised to do He will carry out. Nothing can stop Him. Nothing will get in His way. Now, to be sure, it may not happen the way we expect it to happen or within the time frame we would wish for, but what God began He will most certainly complete!
I think we find this truth easier to swallow when it comes to applying it to ourselves . . . but it is much more difficult to apply to others! All too often the patience we’re willing to lavish on ourselves suddenly turns into impatience when it comes to the lives of others. Or we may lapse into allowing fear to overcome our faithfulness, and we end up becoming a source of tension and discouragement, rather than peace and encouragement. How we need a daily dose of Gospel-sanity, just like the one the apostle Paul gave to his Philippian brothers and sisters!
Remembering that everyone is under construction is the key to accepting their place in His story, knowing that it is God who is writing it. How freeing to know the pen is in the hand of God! He alone is responsible for completing what He started. And what He has said, that He will bring about; what He has planned, that He will do (Isaiah 46:11).
The Bible tells us that the Gospel grace that saves also sanctifies us. God does not raise us from death to life by saving grace and then expect us to make progress by the spiritual sweat of our brows. Yes, there is much for us to do along the way to glory. God identifies the “spiritual disciplines” (Bible study, prayer, church attendance, service, etc.) as the means He is pleased to use in completing what He began in us. But we must remember . . .
We are not completed by the good things we do;
We are completed by the good God who calls us to do them.
Only the Gospel frees us to see ourselves as we truly are – broken and incomplete sinners in daily need of our Savior; as well as seeing all others as they truly are – broken and incomplete sinners in daily need of the Savior. We are all under construction!
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”