Daily Devotional

Philippians 1:6

…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.

One of my favorite scenes in John Bunyan’s classic work The Pilgrim’s Progress is when the main character – Christian – spends time in the house of Interpreter.  

Interpreter (who represents the Holy Spirit) shows Christian a fire burning against a wall, and someone standing nearby, continually throwing water on the fire to extinguish it.  

Christian asks what this means, and Interpreter replies: “The fire is the work of grace in the heart, and he who casts water upon it, trying to extinguish it, is the Devil. But let me show you why the fire continues to burn higher and hotter.”

Interpreter then takes Christian around the backside of the wall and shows him a man with a vessel of oil in his hand, which he continually casts, secretly into the fire.

Interpreter explains: “This is Christ, who continually, with the oil of His grace, maintains the work already begun in the heart….”

What a beautiful and profound picture of Philippians 1:6!  

There are times when the fire of our faith grows dim, and we feel the embers in our heart grow cold and harden into ash. We lack exuberance, excitement, passion and joy. On top of our simmering lukewarmness, Satan pours buckets of water to quench our faith. And if it were not for the grace of God, he would succeed!

But notice the wonderful promise of Philippians 1:6. Not only does God begin the work of grace in us, he promises to finish it! In other words, God’s oil is greater than Satan’s water. And when we find our fire faltering, we can rest assured that Jesus is standing behind us, secretly feeding the flame.  

If you feel your fire faltering, ask Jesus to help you burn higher and hotter. And he will do it!  

As the song “Waymaker” declares: “Even when I don't see it, You're working. Even when I don't feel it, You're working. You never stop, You never stop working.”  

Praise God that he is always striving to finish the work he began in us, even when we don’t see it… and even when we don’t feel it.
"New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide."
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