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God's plan

God’s Unfinished Business

Unfinished. When Charles Dickens died, he was working on a murder mystery. To this day, no one knows who committed the murder in that story.

In 1822, composter Franz Schubert began work on a symphony. He died six years later without completing what is now known as “The Unfinished Symphony.”

There’s something sad about things left unfinished. What might it have been if it had been completed? What potential was lost? What greatness was never seen?

Friend, right now you and I are God’s unfinished business. We are in the process of becoming what he intends us to be. Philippians 1:6 says, “There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”

We are a work in progress. Have no doubt, God will finish the work he’s doing in us. We will be complete, mature, whole, and perfect—crafted by God’s own hand and molded in his own image.

Because we are unfinished, we sometimes mess up. We disobey. Or doubt. We make mistakes. When that happens, we don’t have to give up. Yes, we should be sorry and repent. Yes, we must make a sincere effort not to keep making the same mistake.

But messing up never means giving up on God, because God will never give up on us! He will keep working, keep shaping, keep healing until one day we perfectly reflect the brightness of our Lord. He will repair what is broken, restore what is damaged, and straighten what is crooked as he steadily marches through the inevitable process of making us complete.

David, Peter, Moses, Thomas—they all made mistakes, but God still used them. God specializes in flawed people. That’s good news for me because I’m flawed. But God still loves me. He still wants to use me. And regardless of what mistakes you may have made, he still loves you and wants to use you.

It’s so comforting to know that God WILL NOT leave us unfinished. He is 100% committed to moving us from unfinished to complete. We are not like an unfinished Dickens novel or Schubert symphony. God will not stop working on us. He wants to see the full expression of the potential he placed inside us. We are his bestselling novel, his masterpiece symphony. He is committed to our salvation, our development, and making us complete in him.

So cut yourself a little slack. You don’t have to be perfect—yet. Right now, you’re God’s unfinished business, a work in progress. But one day, if you don’t give up, the grace and determination of God will make you perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

Dear heavenly Father, thank you for loving me enough to keep working on me. Give me wisdom to learn from my mistakes and faith to accept your generous forgiveness. Help me trust the process as you change me into your image. Thank you for not leaving me unfinished. In the name of Jesus, amen.

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Potential Is a Strange Thing

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” (Ephesians 3:20)

Potential is strange. We may fail to live up to our potential. We may over achieve and exceed our potential. Nobody really knows how much potential they have. The problem is that potential is difficult to evaluate and, honestly, none of us are very good at estimating potential.

Case in point: Thomas Alva Edison was one of the most innovative inventors in history. His creation of the light bulb and the telephone forever changed the way we live. His 1,094 patents remain an American record.

But people weren’t very accurate judges of Edison’s potential. One of his teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” His bosses weren’t feeling his potential either, as he was fired from his first two jobs. He tried over 1,000 times before he invented a viable light bulb.

It looked as though Edison had very little potential. But people are generally unable to correctly measure another person’s potential, and we constantly underestimate our own. Only God really knows the potential within us.

God created our potential. He’s the only one who truly knows what we are capable of becoming and doing. Without God in our lives, we are incapable of maximizing the astounding potential housed within us. But with God in our lives, it’s a whole different story. With God, nothing is impossible for us.

Potential is like a seed. A seed contains the potential for life and growth, possibly the potential for blossoms, fruit, or towering trees. Yet, seeds look unassuming and outwardly give no clue to the potential locked inside. Who would think to look at it that a small black watermelon seed could grow into a huge, juicy, pink-and-green watermelon? Potential comes from what is inside, not the outside appearance.

Just as a seed must be planted to reach its potential, we must be rooted in God to reach our potential. We must accept Jesus as our Savior, spend time in prayer, and devote ourselves to God’s word. We must be obedient to God’s direction in our lives.

Friend, you are filled with immense potential give to you by the God who created you. Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” That’s a powerful statement: With the strength of Christ enabling us, there’s nothing we can’t do. Every action we take and every word we speak is filled with potential and power.

What has God called you to do? What dream has he placed deep in your heart? What have you longed to do for God, but were too afraid of failure to try? Believe in your identity in Christ. Believe in your God-given potential. In obedience and faith, take your next step.

Father God, I am grateful for the potential and purpose you placed in my life. I put my hope, trust, and faith wholeheartedly in you. When I am tempted to focus on my flaws and weaknesses, turn my eyes toward your holiness and strength. Help me believe your word when it says I can do all things through Christ. Show me my next step and give me courage to take it. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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