Thursday, November 3, 2022

          Confidence is a quality that many good athletes possess.  They are confident in their abilities or their teammates or their coaches.  And possibly all three.  If you thought today of where you place your confidence, you might name the Lord, family members, some friends, Scripture and possibly some other places.  Just six verses into Philippians, Paul picked up with the theme of confidence.  He had an unreserved and unhindered faith in something.  “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 was confident in the Lord.  He knew that he could trust the Lord to begin and finish any good work.  God’s purposes, plans and promises would never fade or fail.
            Paul likely based this confidence on his relationship with the Lord.  He had experienced the faithfulness of God in the circumstances of his daily life.  He knew he could trust God in a prison cell, on a missionary journey or while preaching the gospel to a group of listeners.  He knew that he could count on the Lord.  He also knew that he could count on the promises of God.  God’s reliability and trustworthiness in the past were great encouragements as this apostle looked to the future.  One of the best predictors of the future is the past.  We can base our confidence in God in the future on how He has provided for us and blessed us in the past.  Paul likely had a lengthy list of the many different ways that he had experienced God’s power and provisions as he preached, wrote, traveled and taught the gospel.
            This passage in Philippians teaches us that God is at work in us to make us more like His Son Jesus.  One aspect of salvation is sanctification.  Even though it is a big word, we have a simple way to understand it.  Sanctification is becoming more like Christ every day and in every way.  This process occurs over a lifetime.  We all have moments and days where we don’t feel or even act very Christlike.  The old self pushes through in what we say or do.  But over the span of a lifetime, God is at work to increase our likeness to Christ and decrease the amount of old self that pushes or breaks through us.  The Christian life can often be compared to a mountain chain where there are peaks and valleys but the general trend is upward until one reaches the summit.  For believers, the summit is the day that we go to be with the Lord and enjoy the eternal dwelling that He has prepared for us.  We call that summit glorification.
            We do not know when the end of life will be but we can stand confident that God will welcome us into His company and into what He has prepared for us.  God is perfect and the only One worthy of full trust, faith and confidence.  God cannot improve and cannot become better.  He is perfect and will always remain so.  Like Paul, we can take great joy in knowing that we walk with One who is perfect—perfect in position, power and purpose.  Live with confidence today—the confidence that you have in the Lord God!  He will complete and conclude all that He has ever started.  Have a great Thursday!  Worship and share worship any time at youtube.com/FIrstBaptistKannapolis.

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