“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that He which has begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is meet for me to think of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of my grace.” Philippians 1:3-7.
Like the apostle Paul, every time I remember you, I make requests in prayer before Almighty God for your joy and fellowship of the gospel. I can say with confidence that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ. Sometimes we think this Christian walk is so difficult. As pastors, and even people in local churches, we forget that “it is God working in us, willing and doing for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13. We are not in bonds as Paul was as to the persecution and literal bonds that he experienced for the sake of the gospel. I do find however, that many Christians, especially those in leadership, are in bonds as to the task or assignment that the Lord has set before them.
Jesus told us in: Matthew 11:28-30: “Come unto Me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
The reason, my friends, that many are weak and heavy laden is because they are trying to do or figure out all the how to’s and how come’s and what about’s in their own strength and mind. Jesus said He would give us rest. We know that rest according to Hebrews 4:1-4, is faith in the grace or finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ. All we have to do is stay yoked up to Jesus. That means hear and do His word – with confidence! He said His yoke is easy and his burden is light. So if our walk or life and ministry are hard and heavy then, we are probably trying too hard in our own strength and not relying on the grace of Almighty God through Jesus Christ.
“And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, who will also do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.
Do you see it? He will do it! He will sanctify us completely. Actually, He already has. He will see to it and perform the good work in us until the day of Jesus Christ’s return. How? By His grace, by His strength, His power, His might, and by His ability! I don’t have to figure it out. I don’t have to worry or come up with all kinds of “great ideas” to make it work. All I have to do is get up every day, yoked up to Jesus, and walk with Him. It’s not trying harder. It’s trusting Him!
You mean that I don’t have to do a thing? All I have to do is sit around and let Jesus do it all? No, what I am saying is what I do, I do with His strength which is what God’s grace is. I achieve only what God could achieve because it is him that is, or should I say, already has, achieved. I actually accomplish more and do more but it is Christ in me, He does the works.
John 14:10, “You believe, don’t you, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I don’t speak on my own. It is the Father who dwells in me and who carries out his work.”
In the same way that Jesus did what he did by the Father that dwells in Him, we do in like manner by Jesus who dwells in us. It’s all by the person and work of the Holy Spirit by God’s grace.
“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of Gods which was with me.“ Can you see with or by God’s grace we do over and above and much more than we could ever do in our own strength? When it’s all said and done I can take credit for nothing. It’s all by Him, Jesus , by His grace. Amen.