Scripture:  God is the one who began this good work in you, and I am certain that he won’t stop before it is complete on the day that Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (CEV)

Observation:  a good work—Any work that God begins, He will surely finish (1Sa 3:12). Not even men begin a work at random. Much more the fact of His beginning the work is a pledge of its completion (Is 26:12). So as to the particular work here meant, the perfecting of their fellowship in the Gospel (Php 1:5; Ps 37:24; 89:33; 138:8; Jn 10:28, 29; Jn 10:28, 29, Ro 8:29, 35–39 Heb 6:17–19; Jam 1:17; Jud 1:24). As God cast not off Israel for ever, though chastening them for a time, so He will not cast off the spiritual Israel (De 33:3; Is 27:3; 1Pe 1:5). [Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Php 1:6). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.]

Application:  Sometime in the history of the church, some people began to believe and teach that salvation is, at least in part, our work to accomplish.  I remember hearing early in my Christian walk that “I do my best, and God will do the rest.”  By these words I was being taught that I have to do everything in my power to earn salvation, and when I fall short of God’s goal He then makes up the difference.  While it sounds like an attractive proposition, it stops being interesting when I realize even my best efforts are simply not good enough.  What the Bible teaches is totally different.  It is not my effort plus God’s grace which guarantees that I will have salvation; God’s grace, which results in salvation is totally, completely, and uniquely God’s gift to us, regardless of anything we do or try to do.

In what other areas in our life have we tried to do our best only to fail repeatedly?  Have we tried to live as husband and wife depending on our own best effort and hoping that God will make up for our deficiencies?  Would we be better off giving our life and marriage completely over to God and allow Him to do His great work in us and submit ourselves to His guiding power?  Paul’s promise tells us that God began the good work in us – obviously, the first question is, do we truly believe that God brought us together?  If so, the promise ends with Paul’s words “What God began. . . He will finish.”  In other words, if God began by bringing you two together, He can bring you two through the challenges in marriage until a happy, healthy end.

Commit yourself and your marriage daily to God that He may use you individually and as a couple to accomplish His great purpose in You. 

A Prayer You May Say:  Father God, Bless us as individuals and as a couple, and finish the good work You began in us until your ultimate purpose is accomplished in our lives and marriage.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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