God’s Good Work
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain–first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
Jesus is teaching us in these verses the sure truth that undetected and without clamor, yet insuperably and without fail, God carries on His good work in the lives of those who believe. I am reminded of Paul’s words:
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)
King David wrote similarly in the Psalms:
The LORD will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever–do not abandon the works of your hands. (Psalm 138:8)
“No one overcomes the corruptions of his heart except by the enabling strength of the Spirit of God.” Jerry Bridges
He who has begun a good work in us will most assuredly perfect it! We can be certain God will finish what He has begun. Our hope must be based solidly not on our own weak strength–for that will certainly fail us–but on the surety of the love of God–for that will never fail us. This confidence of the good work being completed within us will give us great comfort. The work of grace will be accomplished wherever it has been begun. The continuous work of grace in a life makes us more and more like Jesus and fits us rightly for the enjoyment of God. Wherever this good work has begun we can be sure God began it. We cannot begin it by ourselves because we are by very nature dead in our sins and trespasses. God alone makes alive what was once dead. I am reminded of Ezekiel’s amazing experience in the Valley of Dry Bones:
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.” Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'” So I prophesied as I was commanded. And as I was prophesying, there was a noise, a rattling sound, and the bones came together, bone to bone. I looked, and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.'” So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet–a vast army. (Ezekiel 37:1-10)
Through belief in Jesus, we are offered life in abundance! Jesus tells us in John that He came to give us life!
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10)
Take It to Heart
A.W. Tozer once said that we can have as much of God as we want. He is the One who gives us life that is truly life. When we hunger and thirst for His righteousness, He will fill us. Why would we want to avoid Him and His abiding peace and joy when we can have as much of Him as we want? God offers us life that is truly life in abundance! He promises us the fulfillment and purpose in life we all so greatly desire, and yet we often so wrongly go about searching for fulfillment in a myriad of other ways. However, ultimate and complete satisfaction only comes from the Savior.
“The real believers relentlessly believe that. The world or circumstances will try to dupe you differently–but it’s a law as irrefutable as gravity itself: no matter what—as much God as you want. Is there anything else worth wanting or having?” (Ann Voskamp)