November 9 I Saturday
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” —Ephesians 2:10
Imagine a flea sitting on an elephant’s ear. As the two journey across a bridge, the bridge starts to break under the weight passing through. Once over on the other side of the bridge, the flea says to the elephant, “Look what we just did.” But in reality, we know the bridge was breaking under the weight of the elephant and not the flea. In this analogy, we are the flea and the elephant is the Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes we want to claim ownership on the work of God, like the flea, when we must recognize it is solely a work of God.
Paul writes in his letter to the church of Philippi, “…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). Paul reminds the church of Philippi that it was not himself who started the work in them but the Lord Jesus Christ who began a good work and it would be Jesus who carried them to completion. Paul has confidence in his statement because he correctly identifies the source of ability is found not in their own strength but in Christ Jesus.
Paul recognizes his role as an instrument and agent of God when he declares, “Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done...” (Romans 15:17-18). Paul acknowledges that in all his accomplishments,
it is Christ who is doing the work through him.
Like Paul, we all have a role and must do it diligently. Contrary to the opening analogy, we must do it in dependence on God. The moment the Holy Spirit is not involved, all our work becomes dead and lifeless.
There is a church with a sign outside its building that reads, “We have been in existence for over 2,000 years and we are still under the same management.” The work we are able to complete today stems from exactly the same source as the one Paul writes to the church in Philippi. In our entrusted tasks, we are working together with God but God is the One to whom we look, whom we thank and whom we trust. Hence Paul tells the church in Philippi, “I thank my God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1:3). As we step into the future, may we do so with confidence that our best days lie ahead because the Lord Jesus Christ is continuing to work out His purpose in us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, thank You for being the One who carries me to completion. I desire to boast of Your strength and not my might. Praise You!