Summary: God works in the believer now and later. Used the Now & Later candy as a treat for each person attending the special outside worship service called September Start Up. God is working in you NOW and God will finish His work in your LATER.
Lanier Christian Church
September Start Up - Outside Worship - September 14, 2014
What God Started - He Will Finish! (Now & Later)
"There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears." - Philippians 1:6 The Message
Have you ever started something and never finished it?
I don't know how many times I've sat down in my office to write a sermon and never finished it. How many of you have ever started some type of project and never finished it?
Don't feel so alone. You're in good company!
There is a famous painting of President Franklin Roosevelt called the "unfinished portrait." It was being painted by artist Elizabeth Shoumatoff when the President died on April 12, 1945 in Warm Springs, Georgia at his "Little White House."
Leonardo da Vinci developed sketches and models for the 24-foot-tall "Gran Cavallo" horse statue but the bronze to cast the sculpture was diverted to make cannons. Five hundred years later, two full-size sculptures were completed based on Leonardo's work, but da Vinci himself was never able to complete the sculpture.
There's a Roman Catholic Basilica (Church) called the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain that began construction in 1882 and still is not finished...it is currently at about the half way point builders say.
One of the most famous examples of unfinished musical compositions is Franz Schubert's Symphony No. 8 in B minor, or as it is more commonly known, The Unfinished Symphony. For those of you not classically inclined....
Johnny Cash, aware of his failing health, made sure that he recorded the vocals for 60 more songs, with the music being completed after his death. He never heard the accompaniment. (These songs were compiled by producer Rick Rubin and released as American V: A Hundred Highways and American VI.)
Something's Got to Give was an unfinished 1962 American feature film, directed by George Cukor for Twentieth Century-Fox and starring Marilyn Monroe, Dean Martin and Cyd Charisse. Marilyn Monroe died that year and the movie was never finished.
Don't feel so bad if you haven't finished that project you started years ago! You're in good company. There are many just like you!
But I want you to know today that God is NOT ONE OF THEM! The great work He started in you will be finished when Christ returns! And it will be His masterpiece!
I have a very small gift for you today! Give out NOW and LATER Candy.
There are two things I want to share with you today:
God is working in you now. God will finish His work later.
1. God is working in you NOW.
If you have given your life to Jesus, then God started a great work in you through His Holy Spirit.
...God who started this great work in you would keep at it...says Paul.
God will not give up on you. He is going to keep at it every day...shaping you, molding you, helping you, guiding you, forgiving you, strengthening you, giving wisdom to you, correcting you, teaching you and providing for you.
God IS working in you now! Yes...even this very moment.
We've offered songs to Him in worship. Does that mean God is working in me? Yes...if you're listening and singing, these songs fill your heart with praise.
You're listening to me right now as I share God's Word...Does that mean God is working in me? Yes...if you're listening and taking it in, these words are meant to give you hope.
We're experiencing great fellowship today. Does that mean God is working in me? Yes..if you open up your life a bit and share with someone else in conversation, or work alongside them in service today, you'll be blessed by the encouragement that others offer you.
We're going to have fun this afternoon. Nothing spiritual about it, so we think. Does that mean God is working in me even during the fun activities? Yes..if you experience laughter and smiles...God has planted His joy in you.
You could have chosen to be somewhere else today, but God has led you here and this is a divine moment, because He's working in you...NOW. Say it....GOD IS WORKING IN ME RIGHT NOW!
And, whenever you leave today, God will continue to work in you. It's not a Sunday only construction project. God keeps at it every day..working in you and me!
Just how does He do that?
When you pray - God listens. Psalm 17:6 says: "I call on you, my God, for you will answer me;" (NIV)
He hears every word of every prayer of every believer. He knows your every desire. Even when you are so broken, and you can't find the right words to say, God knows your heart and he hears your unspoken words.