PHILIPPIANS 1:1-6 – Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 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.”
THEME OF THE DAY: HANDLE WITH CARE: WORK IN PROGRESS. Today’s scripture contains a familiar truth often used to minister encouragement to Christians discouraged over their many sins and times of falling short of God’s desire for them. We may even have ministered it to ourselves – 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. It is the reminder that Christians are works in progress; a divine construction project God has taken on to make us like Jesus. This truth is so important in dealing with ourselves. How easily we may get frustrated, even despairing, over our too many failures in the Christian life. In those doubting times, we need to tell ourselves, “I am a work in progress. God isn’t finished with me. And what God starts, God finishes.” But this truth has another application and that towards other Christians.
The Apostle Peter, writing to Christians, exhorts them with these words – So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander (1 Peter 2:1). Let me remind us again, Peter is addressing Christians, revealing the potential sins of malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander are within the possibilities of being committed by Christians. These are relational sins among Christians that reveal a lack of love, but we don’t have to go there. And that is where the application of today’s scripture and nugget theme come into play – Handle with Care: Work in Progress.
In our dealings with one another in the body of Christ, we are to do so in love – always; a love that is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). How do we live this out in our relationships with other Christians who might be difficult to love? Remember they are “works in progress” just like us! Learn to see every Christian with a sign hanging on them – “Handle with Care: Work in Progress.” It will help us practice the love Jesus commands is to mark us as His people – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another (John 13:34-35).
PRAYER: “Father, make me mindful to not only recognize I am a work in progress but treat others likewise.”
QUOTE: “Let love rule in treating other Christians. God isn’t finished with us or them so handle them as He does us.”
In the affection of Christ Jesus,