Our theme for this month: “Understanding Salvation”
Our Bible verse for today: “I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God is changing you into the person He wants you to be.”
Yesterday I told you the story of how at one point in my life I had an image of myself as a bodybuilder. I never got there. Actually, I never even came close, but I did have a picture in my head of what it would look like if it ever did happen.
It’s pretty common for people to have goals regarding what they want to achieve and the kind of person they want to become. That’s not a bad thing. But God also has an image of the kind of person He wants us to become, and He is in the process of bringing that to pass. And (here’s the really good news), God’s image of you is better than your image of you, and His plan is better than yours. This is what the sanctification process is all about. It’s about God changing you into the person He wants you to become.
In Philippians 1:6 Paul informs us that the One who started a good work in you will carry it on until it is completed in the day of Christ Jesus. The “good work” that He started in you began on the day you placed your faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins. That’s when He started changing you. The “carry it on” part is the process of sanctification. The “completion” happens on that day in eternity when your spirit is united with your resurrection body and you are finally the completed person you will be for the rest of eternity (we will talk more about that at the end of this series).
In Jeremiah 29:11 God assures us, “For I know the plans I have for you – this is the Lord’s declaration – plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” That good and perfect plan God is referring to works itself out over the course of your life and leads you to become the person He wants you to be.
Another image God frequently uses to help us understand what He is doing in our lives is the image of a potter forming clay into the shape he wants it to be. There are over 100 Bible verses that make reference to a potter shaping clay. Isaiah 64:8 is a good example, “Yet Lord, you are our Father, we are the clay and you are our potter; we all are the work of your hands.”
Sanctification is a very important part of your salvation. So much so, that we will spend a large part of the rest of this month exploring it. God will do His part to bring about your sanctification but you also must do your part. You have to cooperate with him. Again I recommend to you Richard Foster’s very helpful book “The Celebration of Discipline”. There’s a lot we can do in our daily lives to cooperate with God as He molds us and shapes us into the people He wants us to be.