Summary: God wants to carry us on to completion in Christ, but, we must cooperate with His grace in order for Him to accomplish this task. Are you cooperating, resisting or ignoring the grace of God in your life?
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,
6 being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Projects! Are you a single project person or a multiple project person?
There are short projects - washing the car, mowing the lawn, doing the laundry,
There are long term projects - building or remodeling a house, planning a wedding, getting an education,
There are life-long projects - keeping fit, learning to recognize and modify poor behavior traits such as anger or being grouchy
What can cause projects to go unfinished?
Loss of interest - once you get into the project you find out that it is really not something you are interested in and do not want to continue
Distraction - you get sidetracked into another project that seems more appealing or productive
“It’s too hard” - discouragement - you find out that the project is taking way too long or it requires skills that you do not have
Ran out of money - you find out that the project will consume more money than you have or more money than your wife will let you spend on it
Someone else started the project with you and then they left and without them the motivation to continue is gone
The project was impossible to accomplish
There are some projects that just boggle the imagination such as the Great Wall of China - 5,500 miles long constructed over hundreds of years
Or the great pyramids of Egypt - modern scientists are still unable to explain how some of these were built with the technology that existed over 2,000 years before the birth of Christ!
So, just what does all of this talk about projects have to do with the Holy Scriptures found in the first chapter of Philippians?
Philippians 1:6b (NASB)
“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Once again, when we look at a Scripture, we are tempted to see ourselves as being the center of the issue being addressed. How will our spiritual natures be perfected or brought into completion?
Is it instantaneous or is it a life long project?
With a project such as a painting, once it is finished it is hung on the wall for all to admire.
This is not so with us. When the Lord has us as a project He seeks to continue improving or perfecting or completing us as long as we are alive on this earth or until He returns.
But, here’s the thing, when you push aside the notion of always looking for “what’s in it for me” and really take a look at the verse you can see that the central focus, the main thrust of the verse is God and what He is doing.
He - the Triune Godhead - The Holy Spirit working in our lives, calling us to salvation in Christ and thereby bringing us into a reconciled relationship with the Father.
OK. It’s all about God! He is the One who created Adam and Eve in sinless perfection and had personal fellowship with them in the Garden of Eden. He is the One who immediately came to look for them when they had sinned. He is the one who sent prophet after prophet to warn of the consequences of our rebellious hearts. He is the One who sent His one and only Son to be the perfect sacrifice that would enable us to be ransomed from sin, spiritual death and hell. He is the One who sent the Holy Spirit to draw us to Himself in repentance and faith.
God has a project and that project is the salvation of mankind and the restoration of a proper relationship with Him.
God doesn’t do His projects half way.
Just imagine if He did! We all know the story about God parting the waters of the Red Sea so that His people could pass through on dry ground in order to escape the army of the Egyptians.
Imagine if Exodus 14:21-22 went like this:
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and all that night the LORD drove the sea back with a strong east wind and turned it into waist deep water.
“The waters were divided, and Israel waded through the waist deep water to the other side of the Red Sea.”
True, that would be a miracle but kind of an odd one, don’t you think?
(Describe the Lord sending only enough manna to feed half of the Israelite nation)