Summary: God reassures us so we can share His reassurance with others.
God is a very reassuring God, and His Word, the Bible, is a very reassuring book!
God gives us so many reassurances in the Bible that we couldn’t possibly cover them all in one worship setting - so we’re going to look at just one today.
We are reassured that GOD FINISHES WHAT HE STARTS.
Philippians 1:6 - "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day fo Christ Jesus."
Before we get too sidetracked by this wonderful reassurance let’s be careful not to overlook some of the vital truths associated with it.
Let’s remember that it’s God that began the good work. Not only should He receive credit for His loving initiative toward us, but that gives us the basis for our reassurance. If man had initiated the work of salvation it would not have been completed.
This great Bible promise also reminds us that the work is internal. "He who began a good work IN YOU." God doesn’t offer His grace from the outside-in, but rather from the inside-out.
Christianity is the only religion that teaches a person can be made whole by a process that begins on the inside. Other religions teach that we are to begin with the performance of outward works which will then make us acceptable to God.
God doesn’t whitewash the outside of a person. He washes white the inside.
One great application of this truth is to remember that the Christ follower has within his or herself all that is needed to live a meaningful life.
William Randolph Hearst invested a fortune collecting valuable art treasures from around the world. One day Mr. Hearst read the description of a valuable art item which he sent his agent abroad to find. After months of searching, the agent reported that he finally found the treasure.
To Hearst’s surprise, the priceless masterpiece was stored in none other than his own warehouse! The multi-millionaire had been searching all over the world for a treasure he already possessed.
The Christ follower already possesses the treasure and it is within him or her!
Notice the promise also stipulates that the work within the Christ follower will be finished at Christ’s return. "Will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Every conscientious believer is frustrated at their lack of perfection. Give yourself some latitude in understanding that you won’t be perfect until Christ returns. We can be consistent. We just can’t be perfect.
So the reassurance is that God will finish what He starts.
Albert Einstein, the great physicist and TIME magazine’s Man of the Century was once traveling on a train when the conductor came down the aisle punching tickets. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn’t find his ticket, so he reached in his other pocket. It wasn’t there, so he looked in his briefcase but he couldn’t find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He couldn’t find it.
The conductor said, "Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I’m sure you bought a ticket. Don’t worry about it."
The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket. The conductor rushed back. "Dr. Einstein, don’t worry", he said, "I know who you are. No problem. You don’t need a ticket. I’m sure you bought one."
Einstein said, "Young man, I too know who I am. What I don’t know is where I am going."
Thank God the follower of Christ knows where he is going because God finishes what He starts!
That kind of reassurance is worth sharing! And that’s exactly what the Word of God indicates ought to be done.
When God reassures us it gives us confidence to tell others the Good News about Jesus.
Philippians 1:14 - "Because of my chains, most of the brothers in the Lord have been encouraged to speak the word of God more courageously and fearlessly."
When the Roman Christians witnessed Paul’s assurance it in turn gave them confidence. He was under arrest for preaching the gospel yet he was not deterred from preaching it.
He was even excited that his adverse circumstances had become a catalyst for more gospel preaching! (Philippians 1:12-19)
Some were preaching the gospel because they were bolstered by Paul’s reassurance. Others were unwitting evangelists because in criticizing Paul, they spread the message of what he stood for.
A conversation on the streets of Rome may have gone something like this...
"Have you heard about that Jewish fanatic named Paul who belongs to that new religious sect called Christians?