Sunday Thought – Sunday 11th September 2016

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; even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye are all partakers of my grace.” Philippians 1:6-7

If you are a Christian who thinks or feels that they have ‘arrived’, or are in some way, the finished person our Lord wants you to be, then you are under a false illusion. You are ‘kidding’ yourself. As a pastor, I have met many people over the past 31 years, and it’s surprising how many of those people actually expected me to be perfect. They were very surprised when they spotted one of my many flaws. There have even been a few who took great delight in pointing out my imperfections!

On the other side of the coin, I have met Christians who carry around with them a heavy burden, always striving towards perfection, as if their salvation depended upon it, yet never satisfying the urge to live better, and finding that they can never actually do enough to make them feel content.

The Christians in both these ‘groups’ do not appear to have understood the clear New Testament teaching that we are A WORK OF HIS GRACE. Grace can never be ‘worked at’. It doesn’t even involve any conscious effort on our part, it’s totally HIS WORK IN US! It’s only as you understand and accept this truth, that you can actually begin STANDING IN THE GRACE OF GOD. It requires submission to His will and His working in our lives.

By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:2

Paul writing from prison to the Philippian Christians, says:

Being confident of this very thing….” Phil. 1:6

Which according to the Amplified Version, actually means….

I am convinced and sure of this very thing…”

What was Paul so confident of? He was confident and sure that the Great God and Saviour, who had saved and redeemed them, would go on to complete that work and bring them all to perfection, when Christ Jesus returns for His Church.

Do you honestly think that you can, by your own effort, bring yourself to perfection? In the process, you will end up beating yourself up for every failure you make, and instead of living a life of Joy in Christ, you will end up most miserable. But what did Jesus say?…..

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

I don’t see that it’s abundant life if we go around with the heavy load of insufficiency, failure and the clear sense of NEVER BEING GOOD ENOUGH.

So, to any who would point out my flaws and failings, I would say I’m a perfect vessel in the making! I’m not yet finished! Get your eyes off me and start looking at JESUS.

Looking unto Jesus the AUTHOR and FINISHER of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2

He is the AUTHOR of our faith, in other words, He started the work of salvation in our lives. He is also the FINISHER of our faith, what He started, HE WILL FINISH, we have His complete assurance on that. Which brings us right back to where we started…..

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” Philippians 1:6

My dear Brothers & Sisters, start living in the Joy of the Lord, lay down your load, your burden of never being quite good enough, and just submit to Jesus, allow Him to work by His grace to bring you to perfection. And, when you reach perfection, I’ll be right there with you….IN THE AIR!

Behold I show you a mystery, we shall not all sleep, but we shall ALL BE CHANGED, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump….” 1 Corinthians 15:51-52

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