Cnr. Cranbourne & Warrandyte roads,
Phone: (03) 8712-8188
BIBLE READING: PHILLIPIANS 1:3-6
TOPIC: WORK IN PROGRESS
Beloved in our Lord Jesus, do you have an unfinished project waiting for you at home?
Maybe it is homework, that needs to be completed by tomorrow and you waited until today, maybe you still need to study for the exams that are starting soon. Maybe it is a task my mom or dad gave me, and I was just about to relax! It is so unfair, don’t they know there is still a lot of time!
Maybe you have something you have been working on, trying to get finished it for a long time, but for whatever reason, you haven’t quite completed it? I would say almost all of us have some kind of project, some kind of goal, that we are working on, or at least from time to time we have one. But sometimes we think and that is so human; that I will finish it later. I have still time.
And then I forget, and I am in a lot of trouble, with my parents, school, work and I need to explain and complete the task in the little time that is left! And sometimes I know, I could do better.
Today I want to bring a message and assure you that what the Lord has done in Jesus is completed, but He is still working in you. You are His work in progress.
In our passage, it talks about a Good Work that has been started, that work
specifically, is God living in you, changing you, moulding you, and using you.
You are a work in progress. You are a project that God is working on, and that work will not be completed until Jesus comes again.
The Lord is moulding us, through teachers, your parents, the Church, your Cadet and Gems councillors and through your mates. We need to allow Him to do that and trust Him when He is busy with that!
Allowing God to change you, to mould you, and to use you many times can sometimes be painful! Many times it’s hard, but it’s always rewarding and fulfilling. But we also have a comfort, we have peace, because:
God sent Jesus to die in our place! We were made free, so that we can live! His reconciliation brought peace, and Jesus is risen so that we can live in all eternity with Him.
Jesus said on the cross: “It is finished, and with that He bowed down His head and gave up His Spirit.” It is finished! He died in our place! This means that we have peace! With this peace is meant the reconciliation between God and us!
What is the meaning of reconciliation? It is a big word! In its broadest sense ‘reconciliation’ means ‘coming together’. If two people come together after they were angry with each other and make peace, and shake hands or kiss each other, they reconciled.
Before Jesus died on the cross we were enemies of God, because of our sin, but Christ interceded, put Himself, as the accused in our place, and through His death He destroyed this hostility towards God, and gave us peace between God and ourselves.
God gives us an answer of love and in His righteousness, He provided the sacrifice, Jesus Christ! God put us back into His service, through Jesus Christ. He took our sins upon Himself.
Everything changes when Jesus becomes your Saviour, your perspective about life, your hope and your expectations and your vision of the future. You will have peace in your heart and you will know that God will provide in our suffering, our fears and even our daily living. We can trust like an Abraham, that the Lord will provide when about to sacrifice his son, Isaac.
This is exactly what God has done for us in Jesus! This what the reconciliation and peace in Jesus mean for the child of God! We have peace, and this peace means not to fear anything, not an exam, not an operation, not pain and not even death! This is something to be happy about and praise the Lord! We read about joy in our passage! “We rejoice”, Paul said, and there are so many reasons to rejoice!
We rejoice because we have peace in Jesus (verse 4)!
Christ is coming! But while we are waiting, we are going through trials. These trials or challenges are not all bad for us! The Lord is using that to build us up, and to make us holy.
A brick that we need to build a house is a finished product, but it looks only complete when it is part of the house. Then it fulfilled its service. We are like those bricks; we are living stones, which will form God’s temple. We were created to serve God! And the Lord is moulding us, sometimes through fire, this how you refine gold, there are trails, sometimes through pain, but we do not have to fear. We have Jesus and His Spirit and we have peace and joy and the knowledge that the Lord is working with us! I don’t understand always, but I need to trust that the Lord is working in me, making me holy and refining me.
Jesus also went through suffering to the greatest glory! This is also the path we are on, through suffering to eternal glory in Jesus! This is how the Lord brings the work in us to completion!
Suffering and pain is not only negative for a Christian. The Apostle James said in his letter in Chapter 1 verse 2: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.”
In other words, if you don’t experience the hardship of life, if you don’t experience sadness, you’ll never reach the finish line in Jesus. The Lord is using that to make you holy.
In life there are many sufferings and tribulations that come your way. There are obstacles on the road. Things often do not go the way we want. Unexpected things happen.
You lose your job. You lose your health. Even for our children it is not always an easy path. That close friend tells a lie about you, or gossips, the other children make fun of me. My parents don’t understand me! I don’t understand the work or the maths! I am not one of the popular kids!
But we can be comforted! We can rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. We have peace in Jesus and we know that Lord has sent a Comforter who makes us holy before the Lord!
When Jesus ascended into heaven to sit on the right hand of God, another Comforter came, the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit is moulding us to become more like Jesus!
God is not like us. We are conducting experimentations, because we don’t understand everything, but God carries out a plan. I am part of that plan! God never does anything by halves. We often don’t finish our task! God does, like He has done with Jesus’s work on the cross!
God will carry His good work in us toward completion, and that will be on the day Jesus comes again! The day of Christ it is called in our Bible Reading. This is called the day of Christ, because on that day He will come in all glory and we will all meet Him, as His bride!
On that day, God’s building will be complete and I will be a perfect stone in His building!
We believe that God is still working in us and through us, don’t we? Otherwise we would not even bother to be here!
This morning I am challenging you, in your own spiritual life you need to know and believe that God is not done working in your life, and the life of your children and He is going to complete what He has started in you.
Hear the voice of the Spirit, and come to the grace of the Lord so that His temple can be completed! We are blessed in our Church through the work of the Cadets and Gems and we know this is God working in us to completion!
So I’m asking you, I’m pleading with you, put away your doubts. Put away your
fears. Put away your rebellion toward God! Those things are not of God.
Stand on the Truth of the Word of God, Live by Faith, Believe and be excited about what God is doing in our lives and will continue to do in our community in Langwarrin and through the work of the Cadets and Gems.