When Cindy and I lived in England one of our favorite game shows was called “Mastermind.” It was both fun and informative in a way only a British game show can be. In the first round the contestants were asked a series of general knowledge questions. In the second round they were asked in-depth questions on a topic of their own choice. The specialty topics were amazingly obscure. If the host, Magnus Magnusson at the time, was in the middle of asking a question when the timer buzzed, he would always say “I’ve started so I’ll finish.” He would then finish the question and give the contestant the chance to respond. He ended up using this catch phrase with virtually every contestant.
When I read Philippians 1:6 I think of Magnus’ catch phrase. Paul says in this verse, “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.” The next time you read through Philippians notice how the Lord’s work in us is one of Paul’s key themes in the letter.
The Lord continually works in us by his Spirit to accomplish his purposes, and his purposes are for our good. He does this out of his deep love for us, and he will not stop his work of transforming us into his own image until this work is complete.
Paul refers to our side of this ongoing effort in Philippians 2:12-13, which I’d like you to look up and read on your own. Our Christian life is not defined by some one-time event, but by our ongoing cooperation with the Lord who is working in us. The Lord is committed to his relationship with us. He desires to work in and through us. I imagine him saying “I’ve started, and I want to finish” as he invites us to real life in Jesus.