Philippians 1:6 "I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
Once God starts working in and through us, He is not going to stop. We will continue to grow in him, knowledge of Him, wisdom from Him, revelations from Him, grow closer to Him in relationship. This is all part of something called sanctification, which is an ongoing and continually growing process that will not end until the day Christ returns.
But what we can find hope in with this is that God will complete what He has started. Even through the rough times, the terrible times, the times where you feel distant from God, or even when you doubt Him, His power, His grace, His existence - that God is still there. That He is still with you, in you, and for you. And that it doesn’t end with those times. That there will be a light, that there is a light in Christ Jesus, and that if we have faith and trust in Him, we will make it through by the grace, strength, wisdom, and courage that God will give us.
It will not be easy. It will not be fun. It will most likely make us angry or upset with God and His ways. But we need to trust His wisdom and will in our lives, and that no matter what we are going through, He is ultimately in control, and knows more than anyone or thing what is best for us according to His plan.
But it isn’t all on God. We still need to continually pursue Him and work towards growing closer to Him and in our knowledge and understanding of His word and His will for our lives. And it means that we must actively be living each day for Him, spending time with Him (praying, reading the bible, anything), and sharing with others the love He has given us.
Once God begins His work in our lives, He is going to finish it, no matter what. Once we are His, we will remain His. But it is up to us to take advantage of this great gift God has given us. To learn from Him, live for him, worship Him, glorify Him, and tell others about how amazing and loving He is, and that we need Him. We know the start and the finish - God has given us that truth; let God write what’s in between - its far greater than anything we could come up with.
What should I do now?
Examine - take a look at where you can be more faithful to God, His timing, and His will in your life. Are you allowing Him to work in and through you?
Pray - Thank God for his work in you, te grace He has given you, and that He wil keep His promise. Ask for the strength and faith to believe and follow Him.
Pursue - Don’t make God do all the work. Continually turn from old sins, study the bible, pray to God as much as you can, and have an active faith.
“There is no pain greater than this; not the cut of a jagged-edged dagger nor the fire of a dragon’s breath. Nothing burns in your heart like the emptiness of losing something, someone, before you truly have learned of its value.”—Robert Salvatore
So We Heard it's the End of the World...Interesting
In case you missed it, haven’t heard about it (in which case you are possibly living under a rock), or have simply forgotten..the world is supposed to end this Friday, the 21st. Yup, according the everyone, the world is going to end because the Mayan calendar stops on this specific day, or something to that effect. Even if that is not the right story, or if there is proof of its fallacy, or whatever the case - none of that matters.
Why? Because this is just another attempt for people to try to understand God and His ways and His timing. All throughout history, we have been claiming the world is going to end on this date and that date at this hour or that second. But came after those specific dates and times? The next second, and minute, and hour, and day and so on.
So, before I go on rambling about how silly it is when we try to claim the end of the world on a specific date, I am going to just give you guys what the bible says - what God has to say.
Matthew 24:36 has Jesus stating plainly: "No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angles in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." No person on earth, not angel in Heaven, not even Jesus Himself knows when the end of the world is - but only the Father knows and all things are according to His timing and His will, not ours.
Jesus continues later in Matthew 24, ”Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
This is what we, as Christians, should be doing. Instead of getting caught up in the hype of a silly Mayan calendar mishap, we should be living each day for Christ as if it was our last - taking every moment to please, glorify, and honor God with our thoughts, decisions, activities, words, relationships, and ourselves.
Live each day, each moment, for God, as if you knew He was coming the next. Leave the rest to Him.
Silence. Some of us hate it. Some of us love it. Others really couldn’t care less. But silence is something we don’t realize we need. We so often realize how important it is, and how helpful it can be. I know for me, my life can get really crazy and I can get caught up in all the hustle and bussle. But when I take time to just stop, find a place away from everything and everyone, and just be alone with God, that is when I realize how amazing silence can be.
So in the spirit of silence, this is going to be a short post. What we (and this will include me don’t worry) need to do, whether today or soon, or find a place away from everything, where it is quiet, and where we can focus on God. When we find this place, just clear your mind - clear it of all the worries, stress, happy thoughts, sad thoughts, what has happened, what is coming up, everything - and simply sit there. It is just you and God. Don’t even really talk (or think) to God at first; just be present and go to Him with nothing but yourself. Then, just begin to thank Him, praise Him, talk to Him, and anything else you want to say. Just have a conversation with God, about anything and everything. Don’t be afraid to let feelings and emotions out, to cry, to smile and laugh (even if someone might see you), or anything. Just spend some time in silence with God. You won’t regret it.
“Immanuel” is Hebrew for “God with us.” For those of you who were brought up in the church or even those of you who have been around the church for a while, you most likely have heard this word millions of times. It usually becomes common around Christmas time and is often used in songs or on cards but we often don’t consider the weight of its definition.
The truth of the matter is that God actually came to earth to dwell among us. Take a moment to think about that – or maybe a few minutes…hours…days. This fact is absolutely amazing and something that should humble followers of Christ. Just looking at the way He came into this world – without any notice – is something to stand amazed by. You would think that the Savior of this world would come in with a bang, but His humility kept Him from that. Instead He was born in a stable and placed in a feeding troth. This is the King of Kings that we’re talking about. The one who came for one reason and one reason only and that was to die for the sins of the world so that people like you and me can come to Him and be saved.
Philippians 2 talks about how Jesus was “born in the likeness of men” (v.7). As we take time to celebrate the fact that Jesus was born, let us focus on the reality of His birth. God took human form and decided to lower Himself to our level. Let us be humbled by this! In fact, if this doesn’t humble us than there is something quite wrong in our hearts! Jesus was born into this world and people didn’t even notice Him. He could have had banquets waiting for Him and the entire world bowing at His feet but instead the world didn’t even realize that God had come. Yet, this is how He wanted it to be. He “did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made Himself nothing.” (Philippians 2:6-7)
Are you aware that you have a Savior that is humble enough to stoop down to our sinful level and has experienced life as we know it? Do you know that He came into this world in a way that was very lowly and humiliating? Have you been appreciating Christ this Christmas season?