January 27, 2006

God Never Gives Up!

Philippians 1:1-11

He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion ... Philippians 1:6


One day a mother whose 25-year-old son had turned his back on God was telling me she had given up on her son. After years of praying for him and trying to convince him that he needed the Lord in his life, she was sure that God had written him off. She had decided no longer to pray for him. It was one of the saddest things I'd ever heard: a parent giving up on a child. I told her how glad I was that God never gives up on us. If he did, you and I would not stand a chance. If I would have had to hang on to God throughout my life, I would be hopeless. The only reason I am who I am today and the only reason I am where I am in my walk with the Lord is that God refused long ago to give up on me. If it were up to us to stay close to God when things fell apart, we would be lost. Thank God for his assurance in Philippians 1:6: "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." God never gives up. It's the most beautiful assurance we have. Even when we are tempted to let go, God refuses to give up. And because God never gives up on us, we may never give up on the people around us as long as we or they live. Each day offers a new opportunity for grace and for turning back to God.

Father, thank you for hanging on to us even when we want to let go. We love you, Lord! Help us, in your name, to hang on to others who still need to turn back to you. Amen.

About the author — Arthur J. Schoonveld

Rev. Art Schoonveld is a retired minister in the Christian Reformed Church. Before retiring in 2001, he served churches in California, Illinois, and Michigan. Since his retirement he has worked part-time for the denomination and has served as an interim pastor. Art and his wife, Anita, have four children and nine grandchildren.

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