“... he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil 1:6
Marian Wiggins tells the story of a visit to a struggling friend. Her mother had told her of visiting a classroom. While she was there, a student quietly stood, walked to a side table, picked up and gently rang a small bell, replaced the bell and returned to her seat. The teacher explained, “Whenever a student senses the presence of God, she rings the bell to remind others that He is always with us.”
Now Marian was driving to visit her friend, and a package on the back seat held a small bell. Along with the story, she hoped the bell would bring encouragement. She stopped at an intersection, waiting for an traffic to clear. Suddenly her car hurtled forward. Her foot on the brake had no effect. She was gripped by fear as car collided with car.
Then she heard the bell.
Another driver had driven into the back of her car, forcing it into the intersection. The cars were demolished, fortunately no one was seriously hurt, and Marian came away with an added assurance that God was at work in her life.
At the beginning of a new year it is a good thing to remember that our Lord is not only present but is also at work in our lives. He has a plan and a purpose and he is pressing forward to bring that purpose to fruition.
His purpose is not always to make us happy, healthy, prosperous or secure. These would be our wishes, but our Lord has a much higher purpose.
He has begun a good work in us. The goal of that work is our completed salvation. Yes, when we repented of our sin and asked Christ to be our Savior, he forgave us. We are saved by grace through faith, and not by our works, so that no one can take credit for their own salvation (Eph 2:8,9). But it also true that when we initially believed we were not all that Christ wants us to be.
Do you remember how small was your understanding of the things of God when you first believed? Do you recall how little your new life resembled that of Christ? Do you realize, that as far as you have come, you have a way to go to be like your Lord?
You see, God has more to do in us than to forgive. He also wants to transform so our goals, motives, words and actions become more and more like those of Christ. He has begun a good work but he is not done yet.
So in this new year, look for Christ to continue his work. Whether your dreams are met or unrealized, Christ is there and at work. Make his purpose your own, and the peace of Christ will rule in your heart.
~ Pastor Byron
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