Monday, December 9, 2019

God's Work of Grace (Philippians 1:6)

 In a September 17 Turning Point online devotional David Jeremiah writes, George W. Bush wasn’t doing well as a young man. He was drinking heavily and lost in life. One day he went for a walk with Billy Graham and asked if reading the Bible would make him a better person.”

   Bush told Jeremiah that Graham told him about one of the Bible’s most fundamental lessons. “One should strive to be better,” he was counseled, “but we’re all sinners who earn God’s love not through our good deeds but through his grace.”

   Graham soon sent Bush a copy of The Living Bible which he inscribed and included a reference to Philippians 1:6. Jeremiah writes, “That began a change in Bush’s life. It does for all of us. We can never improve ourselves in any lasting, significant way without the grace oi God. We need for him to begin a new work in us, then we need to remember that the One who started His work will finish it.”

  Bible commentator Matthew Henry shares six truths about Philippians 1:6 in which Paul writes,
“being confident of this that he who began a good work in you will carry it out to completion until the day of Christ Jesus”

  Henry begins, “The work of grace is a good work. It makes us like God and fits us for the enjoyment of God”.  Without God’s grace we could neither enjoy God now nor in the world to come. Sinful though we are, God’s grace allows us to be more like Him as we allow His grace to work in our lives.

   Henry continues, ‘Wherever this good work is begun it is of God’s beginning. We could not begin to ourselves for we are by nature dead in trespasses and sins and what can dead men do toward raising themselves to life?” Just as only God could create the world only God can begin a life that allows for fellowship with Him.

    Henry also says, “The work of grace Is but begun in this life; it is not finished here.’ We will never become all God wants us to be this side of Glory but we can allow Him to grow us in that direction.

   Next Henry says, “If the same God who begins the good work did not undertake the carrying on and finishing of it it would live forever unfinished.” We can neither carry on ourselves nor complete in our own strength the work of grace our Lord began

   Henry also says, “We may be confident that God will finish the work of his own hands.” We have this confidence because God leaves leaved no work undone.

  Henry concludes, “The work of grace will never be perfected until the day of Christ Jesus. When he shall come to judge the world, then his work will be complete.”

  As we begin a new year let us daily celebrate the work of grace out Lord began in us that will be complete when we see Him. Let us also celebrate His love that makes grace possible.

David Oldfather

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