January 12, 2014-He’s Not Finished with Me Yet!-Philippians 1:6
God is not finished with me yet. I am here today to tell you my friends that there is good news, not only for today but for the future as well. God is not finished with you yet. He is not finished with me yet. He is not finished with us as His people and He is not finished His work in the world. This is truly good news for those who do not yet know Christ. It is good news for those who God is still working on them to make them into His image. It is good news for the church that God is still transforming us as we serve Him. It is good news for the world that He is seeking to save the lost and has tarried in coming again.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.-Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, it is not us that works at it as it is God working on, in, and through us. We are created in life for God and by God for the purpose of good works. We are not here by chance, we are not here for ourselves, we are here to do good works that glorify and honor our Father in heaven. I can fill our days with hope and joy to know that we are not here by chance but we have a purposeful existence. It is wonderful to know that life has purpose and meaning not because of what we do, but because we were created for something more than just ourselves. We are God’s workmanship done through Christ to do good works that have been prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Did you get that? These works have been prepared beforehand which means that our creation and perfection in Christ is not an accident it is purposeful. Often times the problem that many do not know that they have a purpose for life and that they were created for something more. If these good works are what God has created us for then will we not find our greatest fulfillment in walking in those works?
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. Philippians 1:3-6
God finishes what He starts. Paul’s message to the church at Philippi is one that reminds us that we need to be in prayer for one another. As believers work with one another in a local church or with believers in the church that we would find the collective joy of the fact that we have found that we were created for a purpose. That it is God that is working these things out in our lives and individuals and as the collected family of faith. When God begins a work in the life of a believer or the body of believers He will bring it to completion. God finishes what He starts. It will be powerful and wonderful to know that God finish what He starts both in our individual lives and the life of the church. It is also the culmination of scripture that God is the author and finisher of our faith.
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
It is the message of hope that He is not finished with us yet. Those that love God all things work together for good. We can have assurance that today may not be perfect, tomorrow tough times will come, and the future can seem uncertain, but things are working together for good. Satan will try to do things that he believes will cause bad and harm for our lives. Some of those things will hurt they may cause pain and trouble for us, but Satan does not get the final say in life. This is confirmed time and again in scripture and he does not get the final say but that God does, and He will get the final say always. He is the victory. It is never about the works of man, or the power of Satan, but the greatness of God. It is the greatness of God that can take the circumstances in our lives whether they are caused by us or by Satan and can redeem them and work them together for good. It is about the awesome, wonderful, saving power of Christ that we can live each day according to His purpose, because that is what we were created for. The God who created can recreate and work in any circumstance in our lives and work those things for eventual good. It is good to know on days when we hurt, when we feel bad, when nothing seems to go your way, when you have lost all your friends, if family has abandoned you, when work is tough, when school is a struggle, when life seems overwhelming, and when life seems underwhelming God has not forsaken you and He is not finished His work in the world or in you. Be encouraged my friends that God is in control. It is ok that each day may not be perfect God isn’t finished with us yet. While this is true do not take it as a sign to wait until that day of perfection, as the scripture says we should begin to walk into that future knowing that His completed work in us will be perfected, even if we are not. Let’s move forward embracing each day knowing God isn’t finished with us or this world yet. Part of this perfecting is also equipping.
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Part of this perfecting is also equipping. Equipping us for every good work (His work) is what God is up to. We are equipped through His Word, Scripture. We are trained through His Word to understand better His working in our lives day-to-day. It is through His Word that we grow closer to understanding His heart. It is through His Word that we are able to understand the faithfulness of God over time. It is through God’s Word that we can be given hope. It is through God’s Word that we understand that He is at work, He loves us, saved us, redeemed us, created us for a purpose, and equips us to live into His purposes. As part of His work we also become an extension of the work of God in the world today.
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[a] and teachers,[b]12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,[c] to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, Ephesians 4:11-13
The specific working and perfecting is meant to happen in a community where each gift edifies the whole. The perfecting happens in community and is for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. The physical presence of the nature of God in the body of Christ is alive and well in the world today when the church has reached its fullness. This is how we understand our differences and our unique gifts as God working these things for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. The more we try to clamor for our own glory, and do things on our own or think that we do not need others, we are going away from what God desires of us. He wants us to be unified with each other and so He doesn’t leave that to chance by letting us choose but be giving us each a unique role in His grand Kingdom that when working together with our brothers and sisters we do not feel alone, under appreciated, or overworked but we really then begin to understand the brilliance of God that put all this together in such a way that we grow and are perfected into maturity in Him when we understand that we all belong to one another because we are His. Just as He is one with the Father, and the Spirit so too did Christ pray for His disciples in the last days of His earthly ministry. Jesus prayed not that the disciples would be spared, or anything else, but His prayer was that they (the disciples) would be one as He and the Father are one. The idea is that they would be the physical presence of the spiritual reality of God.