“Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21).
A benediction is a good word spoken, a blessing. These two verses in Hebrews are commonly used for the benediction, and they are rich with blessing. Consider what we learn about our God and what He is doing in and for us.
1. He is the God of peace.
2. He raised up Jesus from the dead.
3. He is the great Shepherd of the sheep.
4. He made an everlasting covenant with us through His blood.
5. He makes us complete (or perfect) to do His will.
6. He works in us.
7. He is well pleased with the result.
8. And this whole process glorifies the Lord Jesus forever. And ever.
There is enough in this benediction to feed on for a good long while. But just consider a couple of things. God is the One doing the work in us, and He is pleased with His work. He is making us complete. He is making us perfect. Us! Only God can accomplish such an astounding thing. I am reassured and excited when I remember that I am His work in process, and He will finish it.
God is working in us, using good works. Good works are not just so we have something to keep us busy. God transforms us by means of them. They are Him working in us. They are the chisel in His hand, and we are the chunk of marble being transformed into something perfect.
We sometimes think that these good works must be spiritual duties like Bible reading, praying, and attending worship. Of course these are important duties. But there are other kinds of good works on God’s agenda like those on the list in 1 Timothy 5:10: bringing up children, lodging strangers, washing the saints’ feet, relieving the afflicted.
What kind of good works is God using to shape you and perfect you? Probably the kind that require long-term hard work and self-sacrifice. They are designed just for you, and He is making you complete in them. They work something in you that pleases Him.
Has He given you children to bring up? Strangers to feed? Sick to care for? Sorrowing to comfort? This is how God is “working in you what is well pleasing in His sight.”