6) For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
7) For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you are all partakers of grace with me.
8) For God is my witness, how I long for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.
(All Scripture taken from the NASB unless otherwise noted)
Paul longs to be with these people, he loves them deeply.
God is at work in the lives of the people who make up the church in Philippi- a work that He began and He will perfect.
The Philippian church supported Paul during his imprisonment and continued to defend and confirm the gospel by the way they lived their lives in Philippi.
Being a quilter I have a picture this morning of my life in Christ being like the process of making a quilt. I start with a design, a pattern. Fabrics are carefully chosen to go together so that the finished product is lovely to look at. Pieces are carefully fit together in just such a way that the original pattern emerges. If I vary those pieces, the color, the way I fit them together, I end up with something that can look very different from the original pattern. I currently have quite a few UFO's in my quilt studio- UnFinished Objects. These need more attention to get to that finished pile. Some of them are just waiting for me to make time to complete, some of them have provided a challenge that I have yet to overcome, some are just not turning out the way I envisioned.
That is how I see this work that God is doing in me. Jesus is the pattern. God very carefully selects the bits and pieces that go into my life, the things that will make me perfect and complete. He has added people who challenge and encourage me, circumstances that stretch and grow me in my faith, He has even provided me with His Word and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as my guides. At this point I am but a UFO- I am a work in progress. We are all a work in progress, and that should be wonderfully encouraging. No two of us are in exactly the same place in this process, but there will come a day- the day of Christ Jesus- when we will be complete, we will be perfect the moment Jesus brings us into His presence. What a day of rejoicing that will be!
In the meantime, I need to be a woman who allows the Lord to work His will in my life. I have a stash of fabric in a closet in my quilt studio- without me it just sits there looking exactly like it did on the day I chose it. Can you imagine that fabric refusing to be picked up, cut and sewn, refusing to make itself available to me? That is what I am like when I refuse to spend time prayerfully in God's Word; the most life-changing thing I have ever done. When I neglect it I get grumpy and side-tracked. Let's face it, it is like plugging your ears when your master is speaking to you, not the sign of the bond-servant I spoke about in yesterday's post. Believe it or not I have been known to neglect my time in the Word, I have even refused to come to God in prayer...usually because it means letting go of something I know I should not be holding onto in the first place. I am coming from such a time just recently, and sitting here now, filled with joy even though absolutely nothing in my circumstances has changed, I am amazed that I so often respond to God this way. I would love to say that my application for today is that I see the error of my ways and I will never wander down that path again, but I know myself all too well. How comforting-how encouraging-are Paul's words, "He who began a good work in you WILL perfect it..."
Mine is a prayer of gratitude this morning. The same God who created the heavens and earth has chosen me to be His child. I am a partaker of grace with Paul and those in Philippi who have gone before me
I am a woman with a Mary heart and these are my musings as I read and study God's Word
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