Summary: Examining the fact that God is working out a greater plan in our lives.
Work In Progress
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In the manufacturing industry there is a phrase that is often used to refer to goods that are no longer raw materials but also not yet a finished product. The phrase is "Work In Progress". Years ago I was working in the shipping department for a company that made shelving units for big box stores. It was amazing to unload one truck that had nothing on it but raw steel and then later load another with a fully functional complete product. Everyday I would walk through that plant and watch the manufacturing process. One employee would cut the steel in to smaller pieces. He would send it down the line to another who would bend the steel into the correct shape. Then another employee would drill holes in the proper places. After all the pieces were fabricated they would be cleaned and sent to the paint booth. After coming out of paint they would be assembled. Then the final product would be packed and labeled for shipping. It is fascinating to watch someone make something out of nothing!
For those of us who are saved, we are all "Works In Progress" . We are no longer raw material, but we are FAR from a finished product....(some of us are farther away than others!). As a pastor, there is nothing more fulfilling than watching a Christian grow and mature in the faith.
Sometimes Christians have a tendency to look at a new believer and expect them to act as if they had been saved for decades. They will falter and fail and we are quick to point out their flaws. We may even go as far as to question their salvation. The fact of the matter is that they are a "work in progress". They are "spiritual babes" learning how to walk! All believers are involved in the sanctification process! And we all have a long way to go. But we have a loving God Who is constantly working on us. We are clay in the hands of the potter...and He is molding and making us into what HE would have us to be.
I am reminded of the song we used to sing when we were children entitled "He's Still Working On Me". It said:
"There really ought to be a sign upon my heart"
"Don't judge me yet, there's an unfinished part"
"But I'll be perfect just according to His plan"
"Fashioned by the Master's loving hands"
"He's still working on me to make me what I ought to be"
There is some great truth in that little song! In the first chapter of this Epistle, Peter has revealed some of the ways that God is "working on" His people. One prominent section of that chapter is where he describes the "purification process". (I Peter 1:6-7). He also describes the glory of our salvation. (I Peter 1:10-12) And to close out the chapter he speaks of the importance of holiness. (I Peter 1:13-23) As we enter into chapter 2 of this epistle, The Apostle speaks of progress or "growth" in the Christian life. He speaks of salvation, turning away from sin, the importance of God's Word and the fact that we can and should "delight in the Lord". I would like to look at this growth process and preach on the thought "Work In Progress"