Scripture Reading: Romans 13:11-14, Philippians 1:3-11
In Philippians we read this morning that “He will put his finishing touches on you.” As we will talk about this morning, those finishing touches are for a lifetime. Not only in our lives, but if you look around you, everything God has created bears an imprint of God’s carefulness. Flowers (strength of the Rose of Sharon). Birds that stop on the bird feeder to eat. We can make contact with our creator through his living, visible beauty in the natural world.
Minister Taylor Smith used to hold a candle up for his congregation and say: people are not a dual nature: body and mind only. We are the trinity made in the image of God-body, mind, and spirit. The wax represents the body, the wick represents the mind, and the flame the spirit. The flame is the most challenging. It will flicker and might go out but it can only be re-lit by God. An unlit candle is useless. We must be lighted by God’s Holy Spirit.
We all remember when the lighting of our faith happened, when we were baptized, and accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. I was baptized in April, 1987…one of the greatest touches God bestows on us!
In Jesus Christ we see God takes pains to show us how he loves us and why he wants us to himself. “Behold my hands”, says Jesus. God will take pains with us in perfecting his plan. In Psalms it says :“The Lord will perfect that which concerns me: thy mercy, O Lord, endures forever: forsake not the works of thine own hands.”
We must take comfort, for God is always remaking us, if only we are responsive and yield to his touch…what wonders God can do with us!
Through His touch, God gives each of us what we need. We were made in the image of God, remarkably made, and given every talent that we need.
In the story of David and Goliath, David the shepherd was coming down to the front lines of the fight, very sure of himself. He said these words: “The battle is the Lord’s”. It is the miracle of the shepherd boy who trusted in the Living God! God gave that shepherd boy everything that he needed to slay the giant. Just like David, God gives us everything we need to succeed in this life.
God will continue to painstakingly put his finishing touches on you. He will take your faults and jagged rocks. In the end, your rough edges will be smoothed and like the candle, the flame, symbolizing eternal life, you will live on. I dare say that the light that you have shined on others will live on in generations to come.