Philippians 1:6 and Matt Harvey

The Monday feature of the Worldly Saints blog focuses on a story from the sports world – current or historic. The goal is to recognize athletes who are using their sports and athletic abilities to further the kingdom of God or to show how some athletes or teams are wasting their days by not giving God the glory or to simply reflect on a story from the sports world from a Christian perspective.


The Kansas City Royals defeated the New York Mets last night to win the World Series.

Just like most of the games in this series, this was an exciting one to watch. Even though I thought the Mets would win in 6 games, I was rooting for the Royals to win. Now, I am hoping that in 2016 the Royals and my Giants get a re-match!

Before the runs started piling on for the Royals in the 9th inning, the game looked like it was going to be a victory for the Mets. Matt Harvey, one of their ace pitchers, went into the 9th inning having given up only a few hits and had struck out 9 batters. He was pitching a shutout. There were no major indicators that he was about to give up the game and lose. He was dominating the Royals heading into that final inning. The Mets – at that time – were winning 2-0.

And yet, he walked a guy, that man stole 2nd base, gave up a run and the rest is history … literally. The Royals won 7-2.

In a post-game interview with Harvey, he simply said, “Unfortunately I couldn’t finish what I started.” The game he started to pitch was brilliant and headed for a victory, but he couldn’t get to the “finish line” and complete the victory.

Harvey Matt

Aren’t you glad God doesn’t work that way? Aren’t you thankful that God always finishes what He starts? In Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

That verse doesn’t say, “God will likely finish His work with us.” That verse doesn’t say, “As long as God doesn’t get distracted, He will finish.”

No! It says, “He WILL bring it to completion.” God always finishes what He starts.

In this context, Paul is referring to the process of being finally saved from this world. While we have been saved (past tense – in eternity), are currently saved (present tense), we will also be saved (future tense). This is the promise Paul is referring to. As the Puritans would say, “Paul is pleading the promises.” He is absolutely certain of this reality.

You see with God, unlike a World Series pitcher, there is no need to adjust. God didn’t design a plan in eternity past and then adjust it along the way to make sure we are all held firmly in His grip. He doesn’t let any of His children go and never will. You will never hear God say, “Unfortunately I couldn’t finish what I started.”

Paul says elsewhere, “38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom 8:38-39).

Christian, take comfort today in the promises and faithfulness of God. Be encouraged that God always completes what He starts.




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