Today we begin our journey of 40 days in the Word together. Each day I will take the verse shared in our books and highlight the things that spoke to me as I meditated and fed on this verse.
Please add your thoughts each day as we go through this together. As we dig in I am confident that each member of the body has something that can bring life to another.
For anyone who does not have the book I will post the scripture for the day and you can read it and add your thoughts. The desire here is that we would read each word and meditate on these words allowing the Lord to speak truth to our hearts as we wait upon him and listen.
Let’s do this 🙂
“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 1:6 NIV
As I read this verse over I began to ponder on what does it mean to be confident? Some of the words that came to my mind were; to be bold, convinced, courageous, fearless, and sure.
But what am I to be bold and convinced of?
Our Great God is the one who sought us out.
He began the work – it means he established it, he initiated it, he introduced it, he created the work.
What did he begin? A good work.
Good implies authentic, favourable, and competent.
Work – undertaking.
So what he started was an authentic undertaking.
Then he promises to carry it, meaning I don’t carry it. He does. He carries meaning He moves it, bears it, he shoulders it.
For how long? To completion.
Completion is the conclusion of something, its finalization, until the curtain closes.
Until the Day of Christ Jesus. Until His moment.
In summary what I personally received from this verse, I can be bold in this, that my incredible God initiated his work in my life. He will take that authentic undertaking and shoulder it until the curtain closes.
Lots to chew on. Looking forward to your thoughts and discussions on how we can apply this Word to our lives.
Susan Craig says:January 5, 2014 at 10:35 pm
I am so grateful that my confidence is in God’s competence-in His ability to not only initiate my salvation but also to continue His work of sanctification in me til that work is completed and I am complete in Him. If it was left up to me,I am afraid I would be doomed because I know I fail Him daily-no matter what my intentions are,I am too incompetant ie weak,insufficient,sinful to achieve it on my own. This is all about Him-in what He initiates,He enables,He produces and He finishes in my life. In order to keep travelling on or continuing in our journey, it is important as Christians, that we come to the realization that apart from Him we are nothing,we can accomplish nothing,there is no good work in our lives,there is no goal worth seeking,and no eternal destination that is worth attaining. He carries us all the way to the finish line!! It is that hope (confidence) that we will eventually get there,that keeps us travelling on- in His strength and with faith/trust in His plans/purposes. Now we see Him thru a dark glass – but on that day we shall see Him face to face. Now we know only part-but then we shall know fully as we have always been fully known by Him. We are works in progress-be patient-God is not finished with us yet!!
Sue Holmes says:January 6, 2014 at 12:59 pm
“My confidence is in God’s competence” … that is such a powerful statement. We are such weak, finite beings but He is infinitely strong and competent. I think this will be something I go back to regularly. Thanks also for the reminder that we don’t see the finished product yet. We are in no position to judge His work in us. But we are asked to simply trust in the Unfailing One.
Pat McRae says:January 9, 2014 at 7:17 pm
I also think we need to be careful not to judge the work in someone else. That work might of just begun and only has the frame work set up. It always amazes me when I get to filling n the frame work how much has already been done.
Freda says:January 6, 2014 at 12:47 am
Love this Susan and love your expression, “He carries us all the way to the finish line.” We really can rest in Him. He is so trustworthy.
Patricia and Keith says:January 6, 2014 at 2:05 am
Being: In whom we live and move and have our being (a verse that crops up a lot for me). Being, not just saying. To the finest fibre of my being (that`s Charlotte Bronte!). Having reality/existence in. Accepting.
Confident: Convinced, secure, fully accepting and trusting, sure, at peace. Knowing, assured, bold about, firm.
That He who began: God started this relationship with me. He`s the Author and Finisher of my faith. He has the power needed to be a Starter. There was a start and it is ongoing.
A good work: It`s good because God started it. The good work has been started. Work = cogs in motion. An act of love. Transforming to be more like Him.
In you: within me – I have to accept that God began the good work in me. He has not separated Himself from me, He is not far off. God has chosen to be at work – in a good way – in me! It`s internalized to become part of you (me, us). Food taken in (as Freda mentioned this morning). It`s individual and it`s corporate. You become God`s agent, acting on His behalf in this good work. The individual and community are not separate. E.g. when Sandy goes to St. Vincent this week he is going as Sandy but going as Bethel. In same way, donations were made by Bethel but this was because individual people contributed.
Will carry it on: It`s not just in the past or the present as will is future tense. Will is very definite – not may or might – He will. It continues, does not stop, has purpose, provides necessary, is faithful.
To completion: until I`m/we`re finished – until the good work is finished in me/us. Ongoing process, not finished yet. He will not give up until the end is achieved. Does not accept part done. Does not give up on us.
Until the day of Christ Jesus: until Jesus returns or until I meet with Him as I die/leave earth. Until all is completed according to God`s Will or forever.
Application: Holding on to/remembering that God is at work in me/us even when I can`t feel that He is or when I`m ready to give up on myself. Being ready to be worked on in good ways. If it`s like being honed then it`s going to be painful at times but God also provides the healing. We`re never too old to have growing pains in that sense. Can also be compared to childbirth – painful but producing something wonderful. And Creation groans in anticipation. It`s about being bold – particularly when I`m ready to give up on myself – that`s one of ways we`re attacked.
Sue Holmes says:January 6, 2014 at 1:20 pm
“God has chosen to be at work – in a good way – in me!” That statement stood out in bold, blaring letters for me. I think it is that you used the word ‘chosen’. That is powerful because it not only confirms the idea that He initiated this work, but that it s also His choice. When you chose to do something you have an active interest in it. You do it because you see a purpose or outcome in what you are doing.
I also love that you emphasized the idea that “I have to accept”. Accept & receive are so similar and receiving is something I’ve struggled with – a lot. Not only has God chosen to do this work in me, but I have to choose to accept that He is at work … and that it is good. Thanks for sharing that Patricia & Keith. You’ve blessed my day.
Sue Holmes says:January 6, 2014 at 5:15 am
Deep breath … exhale … an incredible sense of relief. That’s what this verse offers me. It is telling me that the weight can be lifted off my shoulders if I truly grasp what the Apostle Paul is saying. As someone who deals with fatigue & weakness on a daily basis, this verse is a gold-mine.
Being is an action word. It implies existence & life. It is alive. Being confident. I honestly can’t say that I’ve found anything in this world to be confident in. Confidence speaks of absolute assurance or complete trust. Everything and everyone has their breaking point. Thankfully my God is out of this world. But confident of what? What should my being be confident of? The answer isn’t far away.
The word ‘this’ is a stop sign. It is the ‘selah’ of the Psalms. “Being confident of this” is screaming ‘pause and think about what is to follow’, there is something important here.
I am so thankful for the ‘He’ in my life. He who began a good work. He is my Creator, my Author, my Alpha. He began … He started when I felt too tired to even think about it. He initiated something in me. Fatigue & physical limitations have usually told me to stop. While I’ve been tempted to stop, He initiates. My nature has been more likely to not take on what is before me because I didn’t trust my ability to finish. Finishing has always been important to me … a sign of commitment.
What did He begin – a good work. Good describes the work. Good implies something of value, something to be treasured, something positive. Work is a process. Seldom is a ‘work’ completed in moment of time and most things of value take time.
I found assurance in the small word ‘in’. Two letters from the whole scripture and yet they say so much. In the business world so much depends on location. The better the location the higher the rate of success. God chose to begin this good work ‘in’ me. He chose inside, the inner core of my being, the heart. This is a work of intimacy and a work of transformation.
I am thankful for the word ‘will’. It is a promise, a writ of intent and it is active. I can find rest in knowing that what God wills comes to pass. And what He wills in this case is completion. He decreed to carry on this work. That means that I don’t have to be concerned about it. He is doing this transforming work in my innermost being. He is tending to it and nurturing it as a mother would care for and nurture her child. He’s doing this to completion which brings me back to my hesitation to take things on because I had no confidence in my ability to take things to completion. My heavenly Father doesn’t ‘drop the ball’. He doesn’t go halfway. Completion speaks to me of wholeness. That is exactly what our Father has in mind for us … wholeness. There is no gap, no stopping short of the finish line, or falling through the cracks with our God.
So again, I take a deep breath and exhale. Today I will actively choose to be confident in the One who has never failed, faltered or disappointed. Today I will actively choose to develop confidence and to practice trusting. Today I will actively choose transformation & rest over worry & struggle. I pray for the strength to hold on to the altar of His good work while He does this work of transformation in my heart. I pray to resist the temptation to pull myself off that altar and walk away when it becomes uncomfortable. I pray for the willingness and even brokenness needed to learn to trust in the only one worthy of that trust.
Jim Holmes says:January 7, 2014 at 12:23 am
Being confident — is having assurance, knowing. The word written is not in letters…but is alive, having substance…this living Word that we read is the Word made flesh, Christ Jesus Himself….and being clothed in Him (in that we died with Him and are made alive in Him) we ought to be clothed with Christ, with the Word…and so we are living letters by which all might come to know Jesus through us. Our confidence then comes through the expressed, lived out Word of God….which is spirit and Truth.
Our assurance comes with the knowledge that He is forever faithful and trustworthy. Not only does He “begin” the transforming work in us, but what He began, He will carry it to completion at the day of Christ Jesus. He is progressively remaking us, like clay in the hands of a Potter. His work is Good…He does it….not us. This means, it isn’t about me….it is all about Him…about Jesus. No matter what we are going through….we must trust that every outcome is in His hands….that we belong to Jesus….who loved us and died that we might have eternal life…..eternal life in God’s Son….Jesus.
From this study….we are called by One who is faithful….and we are called to be faithful, trusting Jesus as “He makes me as I ought to be”. We find we are made righteous in Him, becoming like Jesus, in the hands of Jesus.
To live is Christ…..let humility overtake us as we walk in your Presence. It’s all about Jesus….the Way, the Truth, and the Life.