The Finishing Touch

Jeff Lyle

It is Sunday and the high call on God’s children is to gather together and present our hearts to Him afresh. Worship, praise, prayer, instruction, service and sacrifice will comprise much activity across the planet today. We have a glorious King and we know that His return is imminent. We worship today by faith in anticipation of that coming day when we will worship Him in His very presence.

God created the cosmos from nothing. God formed man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into him. God established an innumerable host of angels to serve as His own eternal ministers of good. God sustains the entire universe by the power of His word. The skies and beyond speak of His majestic power and immeasurable artistry. He is not only Creator, but let us honor Him by recognizing that He is also creative. If creation currently exists under the curse of the fall, yet is still stunning in its appearance, how much more should we expect the renewed heavens and earth to be breathtaking?

While we praise God for His creative power, and marvel that He is the divine originator of every physical thing in the cosmos, there is something more startling than this. His acts of creation are majestic but the present creation is to be completely done away with at some predetermined point and replaced. There is another work which is accomplished by the Almighty that can never be undone and will never need to be redone. I write of His work of redemption. The Psalmist described it this way:

“He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap.” – Psalm 113:7

The Great Architect of all-that-is has (countless times over) stooped in grace at the pitiful, plaintive cry of some burdened soul in order to lift them to safety and hope. This is not some casual, random act of God but, rather, His chief demonstration of who He is. While the astounding display of the physical creation speaks clearly of His power, His commitment to redemption speaks to us of His infinite heart. This great God is a God of compassion, mercy, love and faithfulness. Does He thunder in righteous judgment? Yes, and He will again. Does He punish evildoing in His own time? Indeed, and all who have done evil might well tremble. Will He ultimately purge all rebellion and sin by the promised, not-yet-seen destruction? He cannot but do so, for He has promised this. Yet when we look carefully at what He has said in His book we cannot deny that this God of the scriptures has welcomed any and all who will believe in Him to experience exemption from the coming judgment. He has promised a final justice yet, do not forget, that He has offered a comprehensive pardon for any who will trust Him. There is no need to fear because the strong and mighty hand that will ultimately crash the last gavel is also the hand which presently raises the poor and lifts the needy.

Those who have experienced the lifting need never fear the extinguishing. Those who have been caught by grace must never doubt His power to finish what He began. Those who sense intermittent agony over how unfit they presently are for Heaven must resolve to remember that He will give the final death-blow to all that is presently lacking in them. Redemption has begun for you but you surely know it is not yet completed in you. He has commenced with you but not yet completed you. Wait for your Redeemer to show you His finished product. Until that moment comes, trust that His design includes a final coat of shine which cannot help but to be applied on your behalf – which shine will never fade nor dim nor corrupt. Father intends to glorify you. He loves you far too much to come up short, friend. He’s an Artist and never wearies of the canvas on His easel.