Do you have an unfinished project waiting for you at home? Something you have been working on, trying to get finished—maybe for a long time—but for some reason, you haven’t quite completed it? I would guess that most of us have some kind of project, some kind of goal we are working on. It’s part of human nature; we all tackle various kinds of projects.
Do you work on only one project at a time and not even think about starting another one until the first one is finished? If so, I would guess that unfinished projects bother you until they’re done, right? Or maybe you’re the type of person who can have two or three projects going at once, all of them half done, and your attitude is, I’ll get to them when I get a chance.
If you ask these two types of people to work on the same project, there may be a conflict! But you can also understand why these two types of people can complement each other and work well together.
The topic of this sermon isn’t conflicting personalities; instead I want to remind you that God is going to finish what He has started in you and in me. God is not done with us. In fact, I get the feeling He’s just getting started.
I want to share three things to remember as we talk about how God will finish what He has started in our lives.
I. REMEMBER GOD’S LOVE FOR YOU
In Luke 15:8, 9, Jesus tells a parable, a story that describes the Father’s love. Think about what it means in your life today.
God spared nothing in His search for you. He gathered the greatest search party ever formed to find you. He sent His Son, His Spirit, and His Angels after you. As they searched, His people prayed for you. You will never fully know how deep, how thorough, and how costly His search was. You do not belong to Him today because of chance, accident, or a stroke of fate. You are His because He never gave up His search until He found you. Read Romans 8:32. Remember, God rejoices over you not based on how good you are—He loves you and values you for who you are.
II. REMEMBER, GOD IS WORKING IN YOU
You are a work in progress. You are a project that God is working on, and you will not be complete until Christ comes back. If you dislike projects that don’t get done “right now,” you may have a hard time accepting this idea. But people who don’t mind a couple of projects going at once will find this idea easy to accept.
Let me give you the key. Allowing God to change you, mold you, and use you is often painful, but it’s always rewarding and fulfilling. I can look at some of my church members and see how God has done so much in their lives. What I see today is a result of God’s working, but the changes come about because the members allow God to work in them.
God will finish what He has started in you, but you must remember that God is the one working in you. It’s not your project, and you can’t produce what only God can give. Only God through His Holy Spirit can produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
III. REMEMBER, GOD DOESN’T SEE FAILURE WHEN HE LOOKS AT YOU
We like to keep score, don’t we? It’s human nature to keep accounts, to keep score, to look for a winner and a loser. We bring this whole idea into our human relationships and into our relationship with God. We rate our selves in relationships based on many things: we compare ourselves to others, we look at worldly possessions—all kind of things get involved. Because we use these types of criteria, does that mean God uses them too? I believe that not only do we apply unrealistic standards for success or failure to ourselves, but we also think somehow that God judges us by those same standards.
When the Father sees you, He’s not looking at your report card, or your work schedule, or your pay stubs. He’s looking at your heart. Do you love Him? Do you love Him more than anything else? Will you serve Him?
Failure is part of the growing process. The truth is, there is no achievement without failure. How many times did the disciples have to fail miserably before they could see their need for the Holy Spirit? How many times did the Apostle Paul get thrown out of town while trying to preach the gospel? How many times was he arrested? Beaten? How many different plans do we need to accomplish what we want? The truth is, We don’t stop. We don’t give up. With every defeat, we’re that much closer to victory.
Today I challenge you, in your own spiritual life and in the church. You need to know and believe that God is not done working in you, and He is going to complete what He has started in you, and in the church.
So I ask you—I plead with you—to put away your doubts. Put away your fears. Those things are not of God. Stand on truth, live by faith, believe and be excited about what God is doing and will continue to do in our community of faith. Remember, God is still working in you!
General Conference Ministerial Association