“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it in Christ Jesus” Phillipians 1:6He began a work in you to live healthier. You might not have realized it at the time, but your interest in improving your health was the beginning of His work. Unlike us though, He always finishes what He starts – meaning, He is probably not done with you yet! As a powerful speaker recently said, ”Salvation is instantaneous, but Restoration is a process.” You know exactly how to receive Salvation. But from there, the problems, the hurts and the bad habits still remain. Grace is knowing that God loves you where you are at. While that is reassuring, Grace is also knowing that God doesn’t want you to stay in that same place for long! Having a desire to have improved health does not mean that all of the cravings and temptations are gone and that you will eat perfectly forever after. It takes time to learn new habits and to train our minds and our bodies to consume foods differently. God wants you and I to reach out to Him and create a relationship with Him that will provide us all of the motivation we need to change our worldly, unhealthy ways. His greatest desire is to bring restoration and healing to every part of the body. That will not happen overnight. It may even take the rest of our lives to complete. Hope triumphs over cynicism to complete Restoration. Knowing that He “will” complete His work in us fuels the hope that inspires and motivates us to be different. That’s why Phillipians 1:6 is so powerful. As we enter this Holiday Season, we will be tempted to eat unhealthy foods, drink unhealthy drinks, we will be under stress to spend money differently and to skimp on sleep, exercise and devotional time. These will likely end up being placed in a parking lot to bring back sometime. Between now and the end of the year most people will gain between 1 and 8 pounds. It may take several months of intense effort to remove those extra pounds or they may just become a permanent part of the body with the likely requirement to buy larger clothing. Wouldn’t it be great to walk into the New Year with a new attitude that this “process,” this “journey” we are on every single day will be our focus? It won’t be on the immediate party we are at, or the long list of gifts that we can’t afford to buy. Before this Holiday season begins, let’s all take that moment of meditation and reflect on the importance of maintaining our physical health, our financial health, our emotional health and most importantly, our spiritual relationship with the God who can make all things new. Let’s give Him the only thing that He really wants—not a perfectly moral, perfectly sculpted, perfect person—He wants us, just as we are to know Him, to love Him and to believe that He really is all we need. And then watch as He continues the work He started in you.
Finding Completeness Have you ever started something but just couldn’t bring yourself to finishing it? You start strong. You’re inspired, highly motivated, eager and with no interest in stopping. Maybe you will start eating better, you will drink less coffee, you will begin an exercise program, you will start reading your Bible every day, you won’t lose your temper with your children, you will take deep breaths before speaking. You know the list. But, then what happens? It gets hard, life gets in the way, you lose interest, something else more exciting comes along…the excuses are endless. If we are honest, we are all guilty of having great intentions and not following through with nearly all of them. Then, the guilt comes and we no longer ever want to try to do something new again for fear we won’t complete it and then feel the guilt again. This vicious cycle is not only useless, but it can severely damage our chances for self-improvement. We are not in this world as a perfect person and we will not leave this world perfect either. The only perfect person that walked this earth is waiting for us to turn to Him and ask for His help in getting us to a better place while we are still living.