The Christian Life a Work in Progress

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Anything we do of value in life takes work, and it’s no different from living the Christian life. Following Christ is a work-in-progress requiring a lifetime practice of reading God’s word, praying, and following God’s commands.

Christianity is a work-in-progress

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” –Philippians 4:13 You might wonder why Christianity is called a “work-in-progress.” The reason is very similar to why we call it “practicing” medicine or law. The answer is that Christianity, like medicine, law, art, or music, takes repeated practice in order to acquire and maintain proficiency. The repeated exercise of skill is necessary to acquire it in the first place, and then to maintain one’s proficiency. Living the Christian life is much the same. We need to constantly read God’s word in order to do the following: A). Know God’s commandments and remind ourselves of living right. B). Learn by the examples of others from Bible history. C). Continually be encouraged by God’s word. D). Know objective, eternal truth. Christianity is not simply a decision we make and we are set thereafter. It is something we have to keep working at our entire lives. But the reward is more than worth the effort.

The challenge of the earthly life

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” –John 16:33 In the words above, Jesus reminds us that the world is a challenging place. Earthly life is not easy. But by putting our faith in Christ, we too, can meet the challenges that come our way. “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Matthew 26:41 No matter how strong our desire to maintain a strong relationship with God and follow his commands, we also live in a world that challenges us, tempts us, and tries to lead us astray. Human desires and emotions can get us into trouble, in both our thinking and actions. But reading the word of God every day can strengthen us and help us resist temptations and stay on track.

We won’t be perfect, and that’s okay

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 There is power in our weakness. For it is in weak moments that we need God the most and turn to Him. It seems that when we find ourselves weak and vulnerable, that’s also when we become honest with ourselves about our human limitations and acknowledge the power and glory of God. God loves to take weak, hurting, and struggling people and make them examples of his power by transforming their lives. As human beings, we are fallible creatures. No one is perfect. We will all makes mistakes. But when our hearts and minds are dedicated to God, we can repent and be forgiven of our mistakes. We can pick ourselves up after we have fallen, recover from our failings and continue to pursue a Christian life.

Pray for God’s help

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” –Philippians 4:6-7 Whatever troubles you are having in your life, you can look to the Bible for answers. Read God’s word. Read the teachings of Jesus. Pray to God for his love, kindness, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and help.