Transformed – teen devotion – November 7, 2021

I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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.
Philippians 1:3-6

God is a Finisher

It was sophomore year. The due date for our first semester biology project had finally arrived.

And my project wasn’t finished.

It’s not that I didn’t know about it, and it’s not that I had forgotten about it, either. In all honesty, I had simply procrastinated and punted that project to the last minute. And that left me scrambling those early morning hours on the day it was due—frantically trying to get it finished.

I just barely did—but, as you can imagine, my procrastination was seen all over the final product.

Love them or hate them, due dates and deadlines are a massive part of your high school career.

Maybe it’s that physical science presentation you’re giving next month; maybe it’s that American history paper that’s due next week; or maybe it’s those three chapters of that one book that literally need to be read by tomorrow (and you have to read them, because your AP English Literature teacher can tell if all you’ve read are the chapter summaries on BookRags, CliffsNotes, or SparkNotes).

You might not see it, but due dates and deadlines really are a good thing. They help us stay focused. They help us distribute our time effectively over multiple ongoing projects. They help us say no to distractions and keep us disciplined as we manage our time.

The thing is, we don’t always meet these due dates, do we? We turn in papers and projects late—and get penalized for it. Or maybe we meet our deadlines, but the product we present to our teachers is not exactly our best. We’ll cut corners. We’ll take shortcuts. We’ll settle for mediocrity instead of pursuing excellence. Sometimes it’s honestly because we’d rather scroll through TikTok or play PUBG. But a lot of the time, it’s because we struggle to focus. There’s stuff going on at home. You’re picked on at school. You’re grappling with some major questions about your identity or who you are. And when our head and heart are divided, even a small amount of incoming due dates and deadlines can feel debilitating. We can feel so overworked or overwhelmed, we’ll even give up on projects entirely.

Now put yourselves in God’s shoes. I mean, think about all the projects on his plate. Think of all the promises he’s made to you. He promises to provide for you richly and daily. He promises to put clothes on your back and food on the table. He promises to send his angels to guard you in all your ways. He promises he’s with you every second of every day. He promises to work all things—including the bad—for your eternal good. And God doesn’t just make these promises to you, but to every single one of his children. And yet, your God does not default on one of his promises.

The God who uniquely and wonderfully made you is the same God who uniquely and wonderfully saved you. At just the right time, God sent his Son. Your Savior Jesus, out of his amazing love for you, would perfectly carry out all his heavenly Father had given him to do. He would be perfect in our place, take our failure onto himself, die with it on a cross, and be buried with it in his death. And our failures and shortcomings stay buried—but our Savior Jesus did not! He lives! And because he lives, we, who cling to him in faith, will live too!

The faith your God worked in your heart through his Word is the same faith your God is committed to bringing to completion—that being the day you meet him face to face in heaven. Until that day, he is committed to strengthening and nurturing that faith through his means of grace because he’s not a God who fails to finish what he starts. He’s a God who gets his people home.

Take comfort knowing your God doesn’t sweat deadlines and due dates. Your God is a finisher.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you know we are constantly stressed by deadlines and due dates. When we feel overwhelmed and overworked, give us the peace that comes from your Son Jesus. Remind us that everything is going to be okay—because you, our loving Father, are in control. Remind us that, in Jesus, we have heaven as our home and you to thank for that! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Teen Devotions are brought to you by WELS Discipleship.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
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