December 12, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"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
God has chosen us that we might be holy. "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight" (Ephesians 1:4). God predestined us "to be conformed to the likeness of his Son" (Romans 8:29). Therefore we may conclude that what He has begun we may be sure He will perform. God has a plan and purpose for our life that will be for our good but most essentially for His glory.
How do we fit into this work of His grace and live day by day that "in all things He will be magnified" (Philippians 1:20)? First, we must realize that we are so easily blinded by self-love. We often form too favorable opinions of ourselves. Thus, we find ourselves with insincere repentance that has not looked deeply within at "everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" (Hebrews 12:1).
We are determined to follow fully His leading and empowering of our lives, but all too often we are guilty of a partial reformation. When God heard Israel cry out in their trouble, He delivered them from their distress (Psalm 107:6, 13, 19, 28) only to see them rebel and murmur, then suffer affliction because of their iniquities.
Often there is evidence in our lives of a hypocritical attachment to Christ that does not find our faith exercised in the reality of a devoted life in Christ. We profess faith in Christ but do not find our faith manifested in a devotion and commitment in our daily walk. Paul challenged the Christians at Colosse to..."live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way" (Colossians 1:10).
Now how do these things relate to the work God has begun in us and His desire to carry it to completion?
We must examine the quality of our faith, our love, and our hope. Is our faith such that it acts in purifying our heart? Is our love motivated by His love within that constrains us to serve the souls of men with a pure heart and a contrite spirit? Is our hope so anchored in Christ and His Word that it carries us triumphantly through the difficulties we encounter?
For the Holy Spirit to work freely and fully within our hearts, there must be a surrender of our will and a clean channel through which He can work. Our own presumptuous self-confident spirit, thinking "we" can do what only God can do, will hinder our spiritual progress. Our confidence, if truly spiritual, is only good when it is characterized by humility, watchfulness, gratitude and zeal. Try your work to see what kind it is. It must bear His divine stamp and character.
When we are under the authority of His lordship and the working of His grace, we will feel a deep sense of our unworthiness. We will be learning to lean fully on His sufficiency in all things and a determination within our hearts to live only unto the Lord.
Our faith must stimulate us to mortify all sin and seek to be clothed with the virtues of Christ. Our love must not be only "in word, but in deed and in truth." Our hope is the anchor of our soul and will keep us steadfast and true. We can then say with Paul, "I know whom I have believed, and am confident that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day" (2 Timothy 1:12). May we open our hearts to the full working of His grace so He can bring to maturity that which He has begun in us.
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://www.litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-12-12
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