SIXTH DAY: Beginning is good. Ending is better. Middle is hardest.

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daily text logoJune 13, 2015

Philippians 1:2-11

2 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always praywith joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 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.

7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

The Sixth Day Exercise

sixth-day-exercise-dt

At least two major truths concerning the life of faith present themselves in today’s text.

he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

God began the good work and God will see it through. Our part is to participate, to respond by doing those things that facilitate fellowship with God.

The second major truth concerns the point of this ongoing working of God’s Spirit in our lives. What’s it all for? It’s imperative to remember. Paul frames it like this:

that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.

Isn’t this a powerful way of saying it? This is what the Holy Spirit does in collaboration with our human spirit—He causes our love to flourish and become a powerfully wise way of living in the real world. Imagine this for yourself. The Holy Spirit lives to personally guide us into the very best. Discipleship means our responsiveness to participate in this process.

That’s what the Sixth Day Exercise is all about– staying alert, attuned and in touch with this holy aspiration. Don’t skip it. We are living in the long middle, between the beginning of the good work and the completion of it. God is doing it, but we must keep our head and heart and hands in the game. This is a method. (Remember, a good Methodist sticks with the method). ;0)

This may be getting old for you. Do it anyway. Trust me. Give yourself to these 4 questions.

DO THE SIXTH DAY EXERCISE HERE.

SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD, FALL AFRESH ON ME.

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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at jd.walt@seedbed.com. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.

All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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