He who began a good work is faithful . . .

Every Sunday at our church, whoever preaches writes up a follow up devotional for some additional study or reflection. Here is my last sermon and the devotional that goes along with it! Enjoy :)

ENCOUNTER: Memorize 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 of Christ Jesus."

The more and more that I have reflected on this verse, the more I have found that I am of two minds.  

On the one hand, I am so thankful that He who began a good work in me is faithful to carry it to completion. God is not done with me yet! God is building me into something incredible. God is paying attention to me and has not abandoned me. He has not given up on me or figured that I am not working the work. I am under construction, and he will get the job done! Praise God!

On the other hand, God is not done with me yet! That means that God has work to do in me. And this work is brutal and challenging. Scripture compares this work in process as refining. Refining is a process where metal is put under extreme heat, and in the process, the impurities and imperfections are burnt away, leaving just the precious gold. I want to be pure gold, but I don't want to endure the fire.  

As I lean more and more into the promise of this verse, I want to make sure I have a posture that is both hope-filled for what God has in store for me, and one that is open-handed and ready for the refining that God longs to bring into my life. You can't have one without the other. And instead of impeding the refining process, I long to trust in the love and character of God as he, like a master craftsman, molds, shapes, refine, and constructs me to be the person he has envisioned me to be!

BE REFLECTIVE:

What are some impurities that God is longing to refine away in you? Or think of another illustration, what areas does God long to chip away as he sculps His masterpiece in you? What is so scary about giving God that kind of access to your life? What is the redeemed picture of your life that God is giving you as you become more and more like Christ?

BE A BLESSING:

Part of this construction has to be the softening of our heart toward other Christians, toward other people, and even toward people don't like or even hate. Will you lean into this growing heart of yours and express your love and affection to some people today?

BE TOGETHER:

Here is the dirty little secret, your building project will be permanently stalled unless you are with other Christians who are open to the work of God in their lives as well. So, who are you walking this journey toward Christ with?