UNFINISHED: Progress Versus Perfection

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

The ultimate goal of the Christian life is perfection, which will be realized when God’s purpose for the Christian has been completed: To conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). But please never forget that this transformation will take a lifetime and will not be fully realized until God brings us home to our heavenly rest. Until then, we are to focus on progress.

The One who began this good work in us has promised to carry it on to completion, which means He is working in and through everything that is going on in our lives. Is this not a comfort for you right now, right where this finds you? To be sure, you are not what you will one day be, but give heartfelt thanks to God that you are not what you once were. God is at work in you, and He is using everything in your life to accomplish His goal of forming Christ in you. God is using both your victories and your defeats to shape you to the likeness of Christ, and He never leaves any work unfinished . . . including His work in you!

Remember, being in an unfinished condition does not mean you are unloved, unwanted, or unwelcome; you are just unfinished. If God were to leave you in your unfinished condition, that would not advance His glory or your good . . . and that would be unacceptable. God knows exactly what He is doing in your life, and He will not stop short of His gracious design as He brings you into your divine destiny. Now matter what obstacle comes against you, be it the world, the flesh, or the devil, God will let nothing hinder His Holy progress in perfecting you.

So regardless of where this message finds you, rejoice in the fact that God is not finished with you yet! In both your bright days of sunshine and your dark times of storm, know that He is strengthening you in your faith and growing you up in Christ, perfecting His promise given by the pen of the psalmist: “The Lord will perfect that which concerns me” (Psalm 138:8 NKJV).

Pause for a moment to let that truth sink in. God is concerned about everything you are concerned about and He wants you to be sure of the work He is doing both in and through you, work that will one day will be brought to completion. And on that great and glorious day, all the progress God has performed in your life will be brought to perfection. He will perfect that which concerns you. Let that truth set you free to be all God is calling you to be.

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!

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