Tag Archive | Philippians 1:6

A Work in Progress

“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 1:4-6

© Depositphotos/weerapat

© Depositphotos/weerapat

In Christ, I am a new creation. In Christ, you are a new creation.

And yet, we are still a work in progress.

Perfection is still some time off. The attitude or mentality of perfectionism says I must get it right. I must be fully capable before attempting because otherwise, I will mess it up. I’ll make a mistake. When we think we need to “get it right”, we often try to do this in our own power. When we miss the mark, we condemn ourselves and think this is how God must see us as well.

But we can and need to give ourselves permission to be a work in progress. As Philippians 1 says, the good work being done in us is a result of the power of Christ. God has drawn us toward Himself. He has deposited the Holy Spirit within us so we can know Him more and rely on His power within us.

God knows the healing that needs to take place in your life, in your heart. He knows the habitual patters of how you think, act and respond. God knows what needs to change in you so that you can be transformed into the new creation He  has already created you to be.

You may realize over time that some things are just different about you. You didn’t think much about it, but you see things or do things in a new way. Things you used to do have lost their appeal, while you are drawn to other things, other people, places and activities. Maybe you respond to situations with a new sense of peace or clarity.

There are also thoughts, attitudes and desires that God brings to your attention. He reveals issues and conditions of your heart that need to change. Knowing what God has shown you, with the knowledge and understanding of what He says about it, you now have the opportunity to do it differently going forward. God’s revelation is not a condemnation. It’s His kindness that leads us to repentance of old ways and helps us choose to follow His new ways.

As a new creation, you have everything you need to live a life pleasing to God. Be patient with yourself as you trust Jesus to bring forth what He has already planted in your heart.

Something to Consider…

In what ways has God already made you a new creation? How has your thinking, attitude or desires changed since coming into a relationship with His Son, Jesus? Spend some time praising and thanking God for what He has already done.

How is God doing a work in you? In what new ways would you like to experience His work in your life? Be honest with God about what you know needs to change. He already knows and wants to help you make these changes.

As He reveals areas of your life where He wants you to follow His way rather than your own, choose to cooperate with His Spirit and be obedient to what you know He’s calling you to do.

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Do you know you’re beautiful?

IMG_1779 (2)“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'”

– 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)

As I was getting ready for the day looking at myself in the mirror and thinking about an upcoming meeting with some people I had not yet met, I found myself wondering if I had the right “look”.

I’ve started thinking about coloring my hair again. It’s been five years and I’ve grown comfortable and content with my own color. But maybe it would help …

Then I noticed the scar on my nose. I had already bleached the tooth my daughter accidentally knocked when she jumped with excitement right into my jaw breaking the root. Maybe I should see what I could do about the scar. I’ve had the scar for eight years and rarely notice it anymore, but maybe …

I do want to lose some weight, exercise and eat better. I’ve been working on this and have been more on than off lately. Maybe some new clothes and shoes. I’m on the short side. Maybe I should think about what might make me look taller … thinner …

And the list could go on and on and on.

When I think of being seen, I worry about how I will measure up. Maybe no one will even notice me. Am I worth noticing?

The simple answer is yes.

“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.”

– Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

God has noticed me. He says I’m worthy of notice. God sees beneath my outward appearance and looks lovingly on my heart toward Him. He sees every flaw and loves me still. His work consists of not an outward fix but an inward change. He corrects the attitudes and problems in my heart that affect my outward ability to reflect His love.

And through all of this He says I’m worth His effort.

I don’t know if I’ll color my hair. I’m sure I won’t mess with the scar. I love to shop so maybe if I have some success with my healthier lifestyle I’ll treat myself to something special. And being short just helps me engage in conversation when I need to ask for help with something way up high on a shelf.

But I do know that I will continue to let God work on my heart helping me be more gentle and quiet in spirit. Helping me understand from where and whom my true beauty comes. And helping me to see people, showing me their hearts beneath the look they try to put on. We’re all trying to measure up to someone’s standard of beauty. Who’s standard will you look to?

Something to Consider…

Do you struggle with your appearance? Have others noticed your flaws more than your beauty? Know that God did make you beautiful. Ask Him to help you see yourself through HIS eyes.

Do you do the simple work of caring for yourself, your physical self as well as your mental and emotional self? Jesus Christ died for you just as you are, but  if you’re neglecting yourself, you’re not caring for the gift He has given you. He has made you for a purpose. Help yourself be ready and able to do all He has called you to do.

What do you notice first about others? Do you look at them and make judgments before you meet them? It may be human nature but know that’s not God’s nature. In Christ, we can see others from His perspective. Challenge yourself to see the beauty within first.