September 27 I Sunday
“…that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Paul’s ministry journey to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia, was unexpectedly fruitful. One of the first converts to Christ in Philippi was a successful businesswoman named, Lydia. We are told, “She was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptised, she invited us to her home. ‘If you consider me a believer in the Lord,’ she said, ‘come and stay at my house’” (Acts 16:14-15). In fact, a house church was planted in her home.
During Paul’s time in Philippi, a female slave, who was possessed by a spirit that allowed her to predict the future, kept proclaiming for many days, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved” (Acts 16:17). Paul rebuked the spirit, which left the female slave, and her owners realized their hope of making money was gone. They seized Paul and Silas and ordered for them not only to be stripped and beaten but also placed in jail.
About midnight, while Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, a violent earthquake hit, the prison doors flew open and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he was about to kill himself but Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” Then the jailer asked Paul and Silas, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They answered, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved––you and your household.” And Scripture tells us, “At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptised. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God––he and his whole household” (Acts 16:25-34).
What a work of God in Lydia and the jailer! Yet, Paul does not give himself the credit. Instead, he writes, “…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). What Paul is saying is that he did not begin a good work in them. Rather, it is Christ who opened Lydia’s heart and it is Christ who sent an earthquake that caused the jailer to fall on his knees and come to faith. May we remember that it is Christ who began a good work in all of us and He will carry it to completion.
Prayer: Dear Lord God, thank You for the good work that You have been doing in my life. I know by Your power, You will carry it into completion. Praise You!