From unfinished buildings to unfinished songs to unfinished books, a lot of us have started things that we haven’t finished. Yet God always finishes what He begins.
The Bible tells us that “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6) and that Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2 NKJV). So if God starts something, He finishes it. Isn’t that great to know?
But also notice that verse 6 of Philippians 1 says that it’s He—not you—who has begun a good work. Sometimes we’ll tell ourselves things like, “I want to be a good Christian. I’ll just read my Bible more and pray and try to be more kind. . . .”
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to do those things. But we need to realize that it is God who is doing the work. It is God who will change us. So weFrom unfinished buildings to unfinished songs to unfinished books, a lot of us have started things that we haven’t finished. Yet God always finishes what He begins.
need to ask for His help in our lives.
And God does, in fact, want to do a good work in our lives. Remember what Jeremiah 29:11 says: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (NKJV).
God has a great plan for your life, and it’s better than the plan that you have for your own life. So never be reluctant to commit an unknown future to a known God—and I might add, a loving God who has a good plan for your life.
Maybe you’ve tried to change your life on your own. You can’t do that any more than someone who’s drowning can save themselves. You need to call out to God for help. He will help you, and He will change you.
When the angel announced that Christ had been born, this was the message he delivered: “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” (Luke 2:10–11 NLT).
The Christian faith is a happy faith and a hopeful faith. We have hope in this life and in our relationship with the Lord, and we have hope for the afterlife. But this doesn’t mean that Christians are happy all the time or that we should walk around wearing fake smiles.
After all, Christians have moments of sadness, too. Christians even grapple with depression and other difficulties that everyone else deals with. We have hard times and setbacks, even if we are God’s children.
Being a Christian doesn’t mean that we’ll be exempt from facing a tragedy or a hardship. But what it does mean is that in the midst of our difficulties, we can experience happiness. It comes down to something the apostle Paul frequently referred to when he was writing to the believers in Philippi.
There are 16 references to the mind in Philippians, which tells us that the secret of Christian happiness is found in the way that we think, not in the way that we feel. So if we want to be happy, then we need to think properly.
Paul filled his heart and his mind with Jesus Christ. And why is that important? Because the way we think will affect how we live. For instance, we will walk in the direction that we’re looking. That’s why it’s hard to look over your shoulder and keep walking forward.
In the same way, when we’re looking to the Lord, we will walk in His direction. Every action starts with a thought. And what we think is what we’ll do.
This week A Charlie Brown Christmas aired on national prime time television for the 50th time. In a world where the latest greatest technology is outdated in a matter of months, and social media trends come and go in a matter of days, 50 years of anything becomes quite meaningful.
I am a fan of all things nostalgic and all things Christmas, and so when the two are combined I am hooked, and the Charlie Brown Christmas special falls squarely into that category.
I was in the first grade back when they still performed Christmas pageants in schools (less than 50 years, but still a very long time ago), and our class performed a version of the Charlie Brown Christmas. Since I was kind of a bookworm and already had a blue blanket, I was chosen to play the part of Linus. As Linus, I memorized Luke 2:8-14, and that Scripture has been hidden in my heart ever since.
But while working so diligently to learn those lines, there is one important thing I didn’t notice then, and didn’t notice until now.
Right in the middle of speaking, Linus drops the blanket.
Charlie Brown is best known for his uniquely striped shirt, and Linus is most associated with his ever-present security blanket. Throughout the story of Peanuts, Lucy, Snoopy, Sally and others all work to no avail to separate Linus from his blanket. And even though his security blanket remains a major source of ridicule for the otherwise mature and thoughtful Linus, he simply refuses to give it up.
Until this moment. When he simply drops it.
In that climactic scene when Linus shares “what Christmas is all about,” he drops his security blanket, and I am now convinced that this is intentional. Most telling is the specific moment he drops it: when he utters the words, “fear not” (at :39 seconds).