Event and Process
September 18, 2023
Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:9 NLT
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 NLT
Multiple thousands of books have been written and messages preached on our need for the forgiveness that can only come through Jesus Christ. We are assured repeatedly that no one but Jesus is good enough to provide for our salvation and make us ready to live in heaven forever with Him. It’s the one thing that is most important in life. No one is too bad to receive salvation, and no one is too good to not require it. It’s the vital essential for everyone. No one will ever be rewarded for their good behavior and selfless works by getting a ticket to heaven. The worst sinner (Paul claimed that title for himself) is not ineligible. The gift of God is given freely in response to placing our faith in Jesus to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.
But God has a big plan for us. Forgiveness is the foundation for the great future God wants us to find, not just in heaven, but on the way there too. As I gratefully follow Jesus, together we will build a fulfilling and fruitful life.
When I place my faith in Jesus and receive Him as my Savior, God starts a good work in me. As I participate with Him, He assures me that all His plans will be fulfilled. He will finish the great work started in me when I first believed. His intent for me is not to simply stay a “saved sinner.” He wants me to become more and more like Jesus, the One with whom I will spend eternity. He is preparing my home there now (John 14), and as I work with Him, He is helping me prepare myself and also attract and invite others to find the difference only He can make. It truly is amazing grace! He finds me as I am and helps me become someone I never dreamed I could be!
Sometimes we like to think that God saw something in us good enough to tip the scales and make us worthy of His attention and grace. Nothing could be further from the truth. He loved us because He loved us—because that is His heart. Sin thoroughly disqualified all of us from a relationship with Him. But He loved and wanted us anyway. Jesus’ blood paid for our sin and brought us into relationship with God. Now He wants to finish the good work in us that salvation started.
My responsibility is faithful following. His responsibility is the outcome—finishing what He started.
- Jesus, I take no credit for my salvation. It’s all You. I will faithfully follow so You can finish what You started.