I’ve been reading up on first year teaching a little bit. What an encouragement it is to see (and even hear sometimes) that first year teachers don’t typically feel like they have it figured out. But this revelation of being a work in progress is not limited to my career–following Christ and becoming like Him has a similar grace.
I know that, right?
But today as I was reading Philippians 1 again and looking at verses 6 and 9-11, I couldn’t help but open my mouth with a bit of an “aha!” because I was reminded that righteousness, purity, blamelessness is not something that we can achieve on our own.
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.
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
Notice that both of these assurances have a target date of “the day of Christ”…so to have expectations for completion or absolute righteousness before that is to become discouraged. My heart is not one prone to love as it is commanded…I fail and fail and fail again, but rather than pull away from God in the disappointment of falling short I am encouraged to cling to Him. To make my life about him, striving side by side [with the church] for the gospel.
I am glad for this hope at the culminating weekend of Lent. I haven’t been stopping and preparing my heart as is the custom in Lent, at least for a gal with a Lutheran background, but my guilt for not doing so is redeemed by the truth that I am a work in progress. Do I aspire to grow in love, in knowledge, in discernment, in purity, and blamelessness, and righteousness? Yes, assuredly yes. Does that waver? Yes, unfortunately yes. But the source of love (Love Himself) is aware of that and has chosen us to be His children anyway.
Suh-weet. That’s putting the “good” in this Friday, even apart from the remembrance of the day of our Lord’s incredible payment, for a debt we could never satisfy, on a Roman cross. Peace to you!