If You’re Not Dead, God’s Not Done!
By Jay Hardwick
What God starts, He finishes. And here's the good news: If you’re not dead, God’s not done! He is still working in you. He is still working through you. He is still working among you. He is still forming you into His image. He is still using you to reach people with the gospel.
If you’re not dead, God's not done! What He starts by His grace, He finishes for His glory. And that’s why Paul said, “I’m sure of this, the good work God has begun in you, He will finish it in the day of Christ Jesus. He will bring it to completion.” (Philippians 1:6)
How’s God at work in your life right now? How’s He calling you to trust Him, to maybe take a faith step, rooted in that great expectation that what God starts, he finishes? Paul says, “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.” (Philippians 1:9-11)
Paul’s prayer for the church at Philippi is to keep on joining in God’s mission, and it’s going to require them to continue to grow. And so he prays for their growth in three specific areas, and these areas apply to our lives today:
1. Abound in love.
Paul hoped the church at Philippi would grow more in their love for God and more in their love for one another. Those two are absolutely connected. As you and I grow in a right relationship with God, we then grow in a right relationship with one another. As we experience more of God’s love for us, we are then able to demonstrate and share God’s love with others.
2. Live holy, pure and blameless lives.
Out of that love, then, Paul says, “I’m praying that you would live holy lives, that you would be a holy people, that you would be marked and set apart, that you would be holy as God is holy, that you would not just abound in love, but out of that love, it would lead you then to leading a holy life.”
3. Bear much fruit.
The fruit of righteousness—the outward evidence of a transformed life—is what Paul's getting at. As we abound in love and as we pursue holiness, what happens is, who we are on the inside begins to change, and as we are changed on the inside, it is demonstrated in who we are on the outside.
How is God calling you to grow right now, in love, in holiness, in bearing fruit for His name and for the sake of the gospel? Will you trust Him, with a great expectation that what He starts He finishes? And when you look out to what God wants to do, will you follow Him? Follow Him and grow in love, follow Him and grow in holiness, follow Him and live your life in a way that is going to bear much fruit? Look ahead and follow Him, because here’s what I know: Because you're not dead, God’s not done!
Jay Hardwick is the associate executive director and chief strategist with the South Carolina Baptist Convention and is a guest speaker at LowCountry Community Church.