“…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 1:6 NIV
Walking in the garden today is providing a bit of a challenge because where the sweet beautiful flowers bloom bees also tend to buzz. They especially love the lavender! The fragrant purple stems emit the most delicate perfume. This day I am blessed as I look toward the south gate of the garden. Off in the distance my eyes begin to feast on a beautiful field of lavender. Each stem is basking in the sunshine, swaying in the breeze, and offering up pollen to the dutiful bees that buzz back and forth. Watching the busy bees from afar reminds me of an old television show that my two pre-school children use to love to watch.
Midwest during the 80’s there
was a morning television show that captivated my two toddler’s attention.
Romper Room had a small segment that taught good behavior. Everyday the teacher,
Miss Barbara, pointed to a drawing of two bees. One was named “Do Bee” and the
other “Don’t Bee”. The Do Bee song would challenge the children to demonstrate
good behavior, while Don’t Bee song was about what bad behavior looked like.
Somehow when I remember these two bees I see that Bee-havior is relevant today.
As a follower of Jesus Christ I must choose over and over again to be a good “Do Bee” and refrain from being a bad “Don’t Bee”. It makes me smile to realize that this very simple truth is what sets true followers of Jesus apart from the world and makes us good representatives of Christianity.
Sometime I feel discouraged that I do not do life as well as I would like to. For me, it has always been encouraging to know that God is not finished with me yet! It is a joy to know that I am a work in progress. I am so thankful that God does not give up on me and that he continues to be patient with me as he works for my eternal good. “…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 1:6 NIV I love knowing that when I fail, God does not make me take a time out in the corner of some dark room until I come to my senses. It seems to me that Jesus simply says, “Okay, you missed the mark. You have repented and I forgive you, so let’s try again. Simply get back up, dust yourself off and start all over again. Paula, If you will rely on me I am sure you’ll do better the next time you are tempted to do wrong. Remember, I have equipped you with my Holy Spirit to help you. Don’t forget to ask for my help in your time of need!”
It is equally important that I give others that same courtesy. I must be confident that if God has begun a good work in a family member or a friend, who is a believer, he will continue to work in their life just as he is doing in my life. Completion will not occur in any of us until the day of Christ Jesus. On that glorious day when each of us will finally behold him, it will be in that moment that we will be made just like our Lord.
We will be full of perfect love, filled with unbelievable joy, and be completely at peace. We will be perfectly patient, kind, and good. Faithfulness and gentleness will take on new meaning. There will no longer be a need for self-control. But until that day, we remain simple jars of clay covered by the blood of Jesus.
On that day he that began the good work of salvation in me will bring it to completion. I will no longer need to face the daily choices of being a “good bee” or the consequences of being a “bad bee”. On the day of Christ Jesus my name will be found in the Lamb’s Book of Life because I have received God’s free gift of my salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. On this same day my sanctification will be finished and on this amazing day my glorification will be complete.
Until that day...
“I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Philippians 3: 12b NIV
Every Believer is a holy work in progress! Even on days when I see myself as less than perfect, I must remember that it is his grace that places me before Him as "perfect", never because of what I do or don't do, but always because of the precious blood of Jesus Christ that covers my sin, the sin that separated me from Him. Because of that I must remember that in God's eyes I am perfect. I am his precious child! Because of his great love for me, he continues to mold me and make me into his likeness. I am faced with daily choices that allow me to trust him, obey him, and imitate him. I do willingly choose to press on to take hold of that for which Jesus took hold of me.
- In what areas of your life do you find it the most challenging to be a good “Do Bee”?
- Where do you most often find that your actions and responses are that of a “Don’t Bee”?
- Do you find comfort in knowing that God is not finished with you yet?
- Who in your life does God want you to be patient with and show mercy to because you are now aware that God is not finished with them either?
- Are you relying on the power of the Holy Spirit to make you who you ought to “Bee”?
- At times do you find yourself longing for the day of Christ Jesus?
I do long for your appearing. Forgive me when I behave in a manner that does not glorify you. Forgive me when I am impatient with other believers. Sometimes the greatest challenge that I face is right within my family. Help me not to despise the challenges of my life because I know that you are working for my eternal good by using these challenges to change me from good – to better – to best! What a blessing to know that you are not a God who rises up in anger and enforces punishment but rather you are a loving God who is slow to anger and quick to forgive. Lord, I thank you that all your children are precious in your sight. Fill me with compassion and mercy for others. Give me patience for my own failures. Help me not to judge others because you Word says that I will be judged by the same measuring stick I use to judge others. Lord, I look to you for grace and mercy to run the race of life well. I pray that when my life is over, I will experience the joy of hearing you say, “Well done”.
It is in your name I pray. Amen.