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.
Mr. Matthew Pannkuk – Chaplain, Bible Teacher
This semester we are going to go through some of the well known and key verses in the book of Philippians.
The 8th graders memorize the book for the entire school year! I’ve also been helping teach it to my bible study. There are so many memorable, helpful, interesting verses to look at!
First, a bit of background. Paul wrote this letter with the help of Timothy to the church in Philippi. Paul founded that church during his visit there in the late 40s or early 50s A.D. (Acts 16). Philippi was in Macedonia, north of Greece. It was a larger city, high commerce, an official Roman colony, filled with former soldiers and dignitaries. He probably wrote the letter during his imprisonment in Rome sometime in the early 60s.
Epaphroditus came to Paul bearing gifts from the Philippian church. Paul wrote back with mostly encouragement and comfort, as well as an exhortation for unity and a caution against boasting in anything other than Christ alone.
The letter begins with one of its more well known verses.
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 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.
The God who began to work his good in your life will indeed bring it to completion by the time Jesus comes back to earth. What an astounding thought! What a comfort sublime!
I don’t know about you, but there are times I wonder if God has given up the work he’s doing in me. I think that when I stray from him, when I keep repeating the same sin, when I say I love him but live my life without talking to him much at all, that he’s decided to throw in the towel.
Or when I don’t see the evidence I’m looking for of his work. Life isn’t going as I want, people around me are experiencing sickness and hardship, the world is in disarray, I am frustrated and stagnant, I’m still obeying but not feeling much enjoyment or seeing much fruit. He doesn’t seem to be doing his part in keeping up with the work he started.
Yet these are both illusions Paul tells us. God has not given up on us, and he never will give up on us. He always finishes what he starts. And even when we give up on him, or seem so far from him, he is not going to let us go! The Father won’t allow us to thwart his good work in us, and he is going to ensure that we grow even despite ourselves.
What in your life are you hoping that God brings to completion? What are you sick of waiting for? What are you worried about that Jesus started doing that you’re not sure if he’ll finish the job?
Even though the outward event you want to see or the person you want to change might not go according to your plan, Christ’s plan for your personal growth and maturity cannot be stopped.
You might not see what you want to see outside, but inside the Spirit is constantly at work renovating your heart to make it a more proper palace for the King to dwell in. And he does dwell in you. And he will never leave, even if the reconstruction seems to have sit some snags.
Think about what you need to give to God today in prayer that you want brought to completion. Ponder his promise to finish what he starts. Consider his faithfulness, and his power to follow through.
Remember your LORD Jesus, and be assured that he who decided to begin a good work in you will not give up for any reason, but will indeed see it through to the end and bring you to completion in Christ.
Twin Oaks Christian School, a ministry of Twin Oaks Presbyterian Church