The Unfinished Work

Monday, August 29, 2022
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Listen while you read: "Praise To The Lord The Almighty"1 (Lyrics)

Proverbs 17:22 – A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (NIV)

Philippians 1:6 – 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. (NIV)

My one-year-old miniature dachshund, Simon, is a great little fellow and has fit in well with my other dogs. He has so many positive qualities, but he is still not trustworthy. If I leave him alone in the living room for a few minutes while I am outside, he loves nothing better than to indulge himself in the delight of attacking the Kleenex® box. He pulls the tissues out one by one and tosses them all over the house. At the rate he is going, I am considering buying shares in the company that produces Kleenex!

Nevertheless, I am seeking to be patient with him, for I know that one day, he will be trustworthy. I know this because I am consistently focusing on his excellent traits, as well as putting time, effort, and training into growing him into maturity.

Likewise, God does the same sort of thing with us. He never despairs of us or throws in the towel or quits when we show spiritually immaturity through our thoughts, words, or actions. He never browbeats us or turns away from us. He simply keeps pouring His time, energy, and training into us through the power of His Holy Spirit.

So, we must learn to do likewise in regard to ourselves. We must stop berating ourselves when we do not measure up spiritually in the way that we think we should. We must forego whipping ourselves with unkind words and thoughts concerning how stupid and hopeless we are. We must forsake the hair shirt of annoyance and guilt that we think we should don for days or weeks or even years at a time.

Instead, we must focus on the fact that God is continually at work within us, doing a good work — a great work, even — moment by moment, day by day, year by year, making us into the image of Jesus Christ — a wondrous work which one day shall be completed for eternity.

So today, if we find ourselves falling short spiritually, we must knock off the negative mumblings and utterances, and focus upon what God has promised He is doing. Negative talk crushes our spirit and dampens the Holy Spirit's efforts to work for good within us. But a positive and thankful attitude concerning God's ability to complete the work which He has begun in us grants us a cheerful heart which is good medicine to promote spiritual growth and maturity.

Prayer: Father God, thank You so much that we can count on You to be at work within us day by day, growing us into the likeness of Your Son, Jesus Christ. Bless us with hearts that focus upon this and not upon our perceived failings. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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About the author:

Lynne Phipps <lynnephippsatlin@gmail.com>
Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Excellent message… so positive.


    Thanks, Lynne. Just what I needed today.


    Great post and important reminder, many thanks Lynne!


    Thanks Lynne. Your devotional was, again, a nice way to start the day. Blessings.


    Thank you for this positive message – knowing the Holy Spirit is leading us forward is key to Hope and Happiness.


    Good morning, Lynne,
    What helpful thoughts! Thank you always for your devotionals.


    Thank you, Lynne, for your timely devotional today!! It was just what I needed! Our journey is challenging, and we needed to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and to leave it all with Him! Blessings.


    Lynne, God bless our furry friends and God bless us! My furry friend overturns the sofa cushions whenever I go to church or anywhere else without her! Thanks for sharing this delightful devotional with us.
    Blessings.


    Thanks, Lynne. I love the encouragement of this paragraph.
    Instead, we must focus on the fact that God is continually at work within us, doing a good work – a great work, even – moment by moment, day by day, year by year, making us into the image of Jesus Christ – a wondrous work which one day shall be completed for eternity.


    Good morning, Lynne,
    Good words this morning, I do admit that there are times when I feel, not say, feel that I don’t spiritually meet up. And I do pray that God will give me peace of mind and a good feeling in my heart when I feel that way.
    Thank you for your good words as always.


    Thank you for writing your Devotionals. I love reading about your granddaughters, dogs, and farm animals. Your farm sounds like a happy place. Also, your devotionals are so upbeat. After reading them, I feel that maybe I’m on the right track on this spiritual journey.
    Blessings to you.


    Hello Lynne,
    I love your messages! Today’s gave me a good chuckle and a reminder to focus on the good and not the bad, and let the Holy Spirit guide my thoughts on the positive and not the negative.
    Thanks, keep them coming!
    (ON)


    Dear Lynne thank you so much for another of your very inspiring and most special devotionals. I enjoyed reading about the joyous activities of your little pup when he knows he is out of a watchful eye and you did a great job of integrating his actions into how we should feel about ourselves. Yes, each day we need be so thankful for the love and care Jesus sheds on us and is ever willing to forgive our mistakes or misdemeanours when we come to Him.
    Blessings for these writings you do and may you have many delightful times with your new puppy.


    Morning Lynne,
    Have you owned a dachshund previously or are any of your current dogs that breed? The first dogs we owned as a family were dachshunds. Our children were 5 and 3 and a few months when we got our first one. While occasionally stubborn, they were wonderful pets. Your devotional started my memory bank working and thinking about dogs being trustworthy! We have not been without a dog since and your illustration is worth remembering.
    Thank you once more for your devotional writing.


    Dear Lynne
    If only it were that easy to put away all negative mumblings and utterances so we can keep our eyes on the Lord and the work He is doing in our lives day by day. Unfortunately we have so much in common with the first man Adam in focusing on the sensual and not keeping our eyes on what God has told us and commanded us to do.
    Our saving grace is we have access to our Heavenly Father through our personal relationship by faith in Jesus the Christ. I thank God daily for the free gift I have received because of the sacrifice of Jesus on my behalf on the Cross.
    May we continue to grow in our faith as we become more like Jesus day by day.
    Blessings.


    Good morning, Lynne,
    I was talking with a girlfriend about patience and how sometimes it is very hard to have it. In the sermon that day, the person giving the sermon ended with a prayer asking God to help her have patience once she was out of bed in the morning. My friend’s husband has Parkinson’s and sometimes she loses her patience very early in the day and she feels bad. Earlier in our conversation she had talked about a great moment her and her husband had from the past. I mentioned she should focus her attention on those good times and not on when she isn’t perfect.
    We are definitely blessed that Jesus continues to work with us each and every minute even though we are not always so faithful. I am sure Simon will figure it out that Kleenex is not for playing.
    Thanks for sharing in your unique way and reminding us to focus on the good work we do to spread the good news and to help to make this world a more pleasing place in God’s eyes.


    Hello Lynne
    Thank you for these words today. Trusting God for a great week for you and your family. My son is really enjoying the Azores for the first time. My daughter also but this is her third time here!! God bless and thankyou.


    Encouraging, Helpful and Memorable, Lynne! Thank you. Wish I could still have a dog – what great stories they create and memories they make.

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