More Good News about God’s Good Work in Me and You

JoAnne mentioned to me after services on Sunday that as I led the congregation in repeating a memory verse at the close of my message, I left out the introductory words of the verse.   When she reminded me what they were, I was sorry she had not spoken out to jog my memory on the spot, for their message adds even more certainty to the point that I was underlining.  We were talking about the changes in our character that Paul describes in Col 3:5-14 as a putting off of old clothes and a putting on of new spiritual character.  I concluded by reminding us all that God has promised to continue this process.   E. Stanley Jones described it, “You cannot get rid of desire…You can only redeem desires… The only way to get rid of one desire is to replace it by a higher desire.”   Our desires themselves are being changed to be more in line with Christ’s likeness because of our love for Jesus.  The “higher desire is the love of Christ” (Conversion p. 77). As we continue in his love, “He who began a good work in you (us) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6 NIV).  JoAnne reminded me that Paul starts that verse with the words, “Being confident of this…”  This phrase proclaims loudly how positive we can be in our expectations for God’s transforming work in our lives.  I find that immensely encouraging!