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God is working

April 9, 2015

The letter to the Philippians contains some of the most prized promises in the Bible. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” is found on posters, calendars, cards, Bible covers, lockers, gyms, placards in football stadiums and athlete’s eye black. “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” finds its way into letters of encouragement, missionary updates, facebook posts and many Christian conversations. Two other promises of Philippians bear as much, or more, consideration and repetition.

“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

At times during counseling sessions the one receiving instruction on proper Biblical behavior responds with a despairing, “I’ll try.” They despair because the behavior required is so difficult that it appears impossible to do. At times some respond to the preaching and study of the Word with a similar feeling of futile effort. When a Christian discovers a fellow Christian engaging in habitual, ungodly behavior there is a tendency to abandon any hope of that person actually changing. Christians many times view the Christian life as one of unsuccessful labor.

The promises of Philippians, and others like them, are ones of great comfort. They do not negate the Christian’s obligation to active obedience, but transform the believers participation in active obedience. The work God began at salvation, He will certainly complete. God is actively working in His children giving them the desire and the ability to do that which pleases Him. In others words, the Christian life is not impossible and Christian sanctification is inevitable. The work of transforming the life is a work commenced, continued and completed by God.

Hope remains in the face of any sin because the power of God is at work to perfect His children. God is definitely working in you and in others to effect the transformation of daily living He began at conversion. The believer need never despair of God’s working in his own life or in the life of other believers. He is working. He will work. He will continue to work. He will complete His work. Nothing will stop that. The empowering and encouraging truth is that the believer’s task is not to produce righteousness in his own life. The believers task is to cooperate with God to work out the righteousness that He is producing.

Rejoice to obey. He is working in you. Because He is working, you must also work. You must flesh out in your attitudes and actions the work that He is doing in your heart and mind. You can live a life pleasing to Him. He is working in you to do His good pleasure. You can continue with diligence to grow in grace, knowledge and obedience. You must and you can because God is working. God provides all the resources needed to go and do what He commands. Never give up. Never give up hope for God has accomplished and is accomplishing all His will.

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