God At Work.Phil.1:6

While sudying the book of Philippians recently I came across some notes on 1:6 by David Roper.Being confident of this very thing,that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.Three things about this verse.

1.It is God who initiates the good work.

There is nothing in our nature which predisposes us to choose God.Not one of us really seeks out God.Though we all may have a hunger for God we don’t really seek him out.(Rom.3:11).It is God who hunts us down,who chases us and wins our hearts.

When Luke,in Acts,recounts the planting of this church in Philippi he mentions the merchant lady,Lydia.He says that she responded to Paul’s teaching.But prior to this he says that the Lord opened her heart to respond to the gospel.

The story is told of an ordination committee in the hills of Tennessee that was interviewing a backwoods preacher who did not have the opportunity to go to school.They were wary of him and wondered exactly what his position was on certain areas of doctrine,and so they asked him some questions.One was, “How did you become a Christian?”He said, “Well,I done my part;God done his part.”Their Calvinistic instincts came forth and they said, “what do you mean,’You did your part?’ “And he said, “Well,my part was to run away from God as fast as my two legs would carry me,and his part was to run after me until he laid hold of me.”

That is how we find the Lord.Our part is to run away.His part is to run us down,to open our hearts,and to woo us and win us with his love.It is God who initiated the process.We did not start it.It was not because we were religiously inclined that we came to him.It is bescause he sought us out and brought us to himself.

2.The second thing Paul says in verse 6 is that the one who has begun the process undertakes responsibility for  its…progress.He who has begun a good work in you will ..perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.The Greek verb tense coveys the idea of a process which is taking place.God is working to accomplish the process and bring it to a perfect conclusion.He is at work in your life right now,working through the circumstances that you face—through the hard things,the good things,through every area of your life—working to conform you to the image of Jesus Christ.And he will not let you go.

Eagles do not naturally know how to fly.Fish know how to swim.Ducks know how to float,but for some reason eagles don’t know how to fly.When baby eagles have grown to a certain size the mother eagle literally kicks them out of the nest.They tumble for hundreds of feet,flapping their little wings and trying to control themselves.The mother drops with them and at the last minute will swoop underneath and pick them up on her back.Then she’ll take them up several thousand feet and she’ll drop them off again,and they tumble some more.You can imagine how panicked the little eagles are,flapping away.But sooner or later they learn how to fly.And,although it’s a terrifying experience,the mother eagle is right there every flap of the way to protect them and to keep them from being dashed on the rocks below.

You see,the Lord is going to teach you how to fly.He is going to make you like his Son.There will be struggles,and you will tumble,but you will learn,because underneath are those everlasting arms.That is why the scriptures say in Isa.40 that he will bear us up on eagle’s wings.He is always there to pick us up,to encourage us,to reinforce what he is doing,and to make certain that the process is fulfilled.He will not let us fall,in any ultimate sense.

3.The third thing that Paul says in verse 6 is that God guarantees the outcome.”Until the day of Jesus Christ.”

He is going to accomplish what he set out to do.God is never half-baked about what he does.He carries every process out to completion.He has a goal in mind,and it is to produce the image,the character,of Jesus Christ in your life.And he will work until the day of Jesus Christ to accomplish that.So remember,the process is not complete today.It is probally not going to be complete tomorrow.It won’t be complete until we see Jesus Christ.But it is certain;God will carry it to its completion.

There is a monastery northwest of Madrid which was built fo the Franciscan monks,the order from which Martin Luther came.It was built about 400 years ago at the request of the Spanish King.The architect designed arches which were so flat that when he saw them erected the King was afraid they would fall.So he insisted that the architect build pillars in the centers of the arches to support them.He complied very  reluuctantly.After the King died the  architect made it known that he had built all of those pillars a quarter of an inch too short.And I’m told today if you are guided through this monastery the guide will slide a piece of paper through the space between the top of the pillar and the bottom of any arch.In 400 years they haven’t sagged one fraction of an inch!

Now,that is what the Lord is doing in your life.He doesn’t need any human aids.He doesn’t need any pillars,he doesn’t need you to prop it up.He is at work.What he is building is not going to sag–not a fraction of an inch.He is going to bring it to completion what he has set out to do.

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