In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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. Philippians 1:4-6
Paul is grateful for the Philippian church because of their love and partnership in the Gospel. Jesus really had begun a great work in their lives and there was evidence of it. Paul was blessed because of the change that the Kingdom of Heaven had brought to them.
The work and the change was not finished though. Paul expressed confidence that God was going to continue His work in their lives all the way to completion, which would culminate in the Day of Christ Jesus. That Day is His second coming (or when we die, exchanging this body for a new imperishable one).
There are days as a disciple of Jesus when I don’t want to be a disciple of Jesus.
Does anyone misunderstand that following Christ in this world is easy? A disciple is one who is crucifying the flesh with its passions and desires and choosing to live for Jesus. It’s certainly the best, most fulfilling life, but it’s not the easiest.
The easiest way is to follow the whims and desires of the flesh. To indulge in whatever seems good and pleasurable. In this culture it expresses itself in consumerism and materialism; in selfishness and laziness. Living by the flesh can even be seen in being a religious person who has established a litany of rules to live by and imposes those rules on others. This is the easy way to live.
A disciple of Jesus is not materialistic or consumeristic, but rather gives and contributes. A disciple of Jesus is not religious.
Some days I don’t want to be a disciple. Some days I want to live by the flesh. It’s a struggle not to be selfish. Do I really have to give my life away again?
Read Galatians 5 and/or Romans 7. Paul describes how the spirit and the flesh oppose each other and how, some days, Paul struggled to live by the spirit. I’m in good company, yeah?
All of that to say, when Paul expresses his confidence in God’s ability to complete what He started in the lives of the Philippians, that is reassuring to me.
Thank you, Father, for Your work that is being accomplished in me, my family and my church family. You are more than able to finish what You’ve begun! I live for You today.