27th December 2016

The Master Architect

“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

Ah, Junction 19 of the M1…where the roadworks are never ending. The traffic cones appear to be on permanent display and I feel doomed to travel at 50 mph forever. You might be picking up that I’m getting a little fed up with the never ending construction work. Of course, I am exaggerating—but I can’t remember when these particular roadworks began, and they are becoming very tiresome.

But on the last drive through, I spied something interesting. Although the M1 is still full of cones and speed limits, I could see traffic flowing underneath straight from the A14 to the M6. Also, an impressive bridge above the M1 now curves round bringing vehicles the other way. Progress has been made! There is still a lot of work left to do, but the end is now in sight. I can see that the mess and inconvenience is bringing about transformation. This in itself is encouraging, but it also helps me take heart regarding other major construction projects.

Our lives can often feel like my negative view of Junction 19. We are reminded of the untidy patterns of our lives – flashes of jealousy, selfishness or greed – and we feel like we continue to languish in behaviours that are nothing like having “the same mind-set as Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Yet Paul reminds us of a wonderful truth: “I feel sure that the one who has begun his good work in you will go on developing it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6 JB Phillips).

God’s work is actively on-going in our lives – “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13). Yes, the “traffic cones” of spiritual construction may be painfully still there in our lives, reminding us to take our next move slowly and carefully because we still don’t think like Jesus. But the Master Architect, God Himself, is determined to reconstruct us into the shape that has been modelled by Jesus. And He isn’t going to give up, however messy and difficult it gets!

One day, I hope to see the fullness of the remodelled Junction 19 of the M1. But this slips into insignificance compared to God’s fullness for us. We are told that the Lord Jesus Christ will one day even “transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (Philippians 3:21). What a wonderful work in progress we all are! And how great it is that God has taken us on – yes, you and me – as his great construction project. For all eternity, we will always rejoice in the remodelling that God is now undertaking in our lives.

Prayer
Dear Father, how amazing is the work that you have performed in Jesus, where he has conquered human flesh and turned humanity around to worship you! And we are humbled to find that you are extending that work, through the Holy Spirit, into our lives. To you we owe all our praise.
Amen

Study by Ian Woodley

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About the Author: ianwoodley
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion Church. During December, Nottingham Grace Communion have been sending out the following invite into their local community: “Let Us Pray For You”. If you would like us to include your request in our prayers, please email it to notts.gracecom@gmail.com

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy & Vincent Brown Village Hall
Attenborough Lane
Beeston
NOTTINGHAM NG9 5HZ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email: ian_woodley@wcg.org.uk

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Comments

One Response to “27th December 2016”

  1. John Magowan on December 27th, 2016 1:12 pm

    Good points Ian…encouraging thoughts for the new year ahead. Keep up the good work in your area!

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