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Coming through Jesus

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Philippians 1:6, 9-11
I am confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and be filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

The oldest known person, a French woman, lived to age 122. In 2006 American men and women averaged 77.5 years. That average works out to 28,288 days. Breaking each day into three blocs gives God 84,863 opportunities to "continue to complete" the good work he began in me.

I have no doubt that God is up to the task. I wonder how well I'm responding. Is my love abounding in insight? Do I discern what is best?

Just what is righteousness that comes through Jesus? I'm not sure we measure it very well in our own lives or those of others. I am too easily satisfied with the threadbare skeleton of a good deed, knowing how little I really feel changed inside.

I am older now than I was. (How profound is that?!) I don't feel a lot wiser. But Paul's confidence lifts me up when I feel weak and tired and dumb, and old. He isn't writing to the Philippians about their own efforts toward goodness. He's reminding them of God's work, which proceeds at the pace God sets, and continues through all my 28,000 days.

I don't really want to answer the questions about my own character. My love and discernment are shaped by God and come "through Christ Jesus." He makes good things happen. I don't want to get in the way.

Thank you Lord. There is no need for me to figure out where I'm going. I will relax and follow you. You know the route of the race.

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