Our Daily Bread (ODB) + Insight, 5 October 2020 – Begin With The End
Begin with the End
By Glenn Packiam for ODB
Read: Philippians 1:3–11
Bible in a Year: Isaiah 23–25; Philippians 1
“What do you want to be when you grow up?” I was often asked that question as a child. And the answers changed like the wind. A doctor. A firefighter. A missionary. A worship leader. A physicist—or actually, MacGyver (a favorite TV character)! Now, as a dad of four kids, I think of how difficult it must be for them to be asked that question. There are times when I want to say, “I know what you’ll be great at!” Parents can sometimes see more in their children than the children can see in themselves.
This resonates with what Paul saw in the Philippian believers—those he loved and prayed for (Philippians 1:3). He could see the end; he knew what they’d be when all was said and done. The Bible gives us a grand vision of the end of the story—resurrection and the renewal of all things (see 1 Corinthians 15 and Revelation 21). But it also tells us who’s writing the story.
Paul, in the opening lines of a letter he wrote from prison, reminded the Philippian church that “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Jesus started the work and He’ll complete it. The word completion is particularly important—the story doesn’t just end, for God leaves nothing unfinished.
Where are you in your story? How can you trust Jesus to take the “pen” from your hand and to bring your story to completion?
Dear Jesus, You’re in charge of my story. It’s not up to me to make it happen. I surrender my life to You. Help me to trust You.
Paul reminds us that our relationship with God isn’t based on our efforts but on God’s will: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). In another of Paul’s letters, he observed how God first draws us to the good news of Jesus. He wrote, “For [God] chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight” (Ephesians 1:4). God’s Holy Spirit is at work in us so that we may grow to “know [God] better” (v. 17).
We enter into relationship with Him through the death and resurrection of His Son. It’s God Himself who continues the work that characterizes this relationship. Paul calls us to increase in love so that we’re “filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:9–11).
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