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Archive for January, 2012

The End.

“The End” seems to come at the, well, END of  just about every book and movie out there. And there’s nothing I like better than to see everything resolved before “The End” rolls around. No more misunderstandings, unanswered questions, hurt feelings or inner struggles.  Those things are ok at the beginning of a movie–just about necessary for there to actually be a story–but not at the end, in my opinion.

Wouldn’t it be nice if life was like that? Start every day off with a challenge of some sort, and end every night with the words “The End” splashed in yellow across our walls and accompanied by a triumphant fanfare of music?

But I guess we’ve all cried ourselves to sleep…or tried to. Maybe you couldn’t sleep. I know I’ve begun many days wishing the the previous day was some nightmare which dissipated with the morning light. You didn’t begin your day–your month– your education–your career–your marriage–your parenthood–right. I know–I’ve been there too.  And chances are, you’re on a path which isn’t going to make the end any better.

You want to know why? It’s been called the “Easier to” problem.

It’s easier to make a promise than to keep it.

It’s easier to know the truth than to live the truth.

It’s easier to indulge myself instead of having self-control.

It’s easier to surround yourself with friends who tell you what you want to hear than those who’ll tell you what you need to hear.

It’s easier to begin a race than to finish it.

It’s easier to stick your head in the sand than to face the truth.

It’s easier to stay down when you’re knocked down than it is to get up and keep going.

It’s easier (at least, temporarily) to continue on your sinful,self-centered, comfy, Hell-bound path than it is give up your sins and throw yourself on the mercy of the God who can and will  save you.

We don’t know when our “The End” is coming. The story has already started. There are enough problems to solve and twists to untwist for an epic saga. Neither you nor I can change the failures or untie the knots from the previous pages. I can’t take back my stupid explanations,  broken promises, or missed opportunities from even five minutes ago.

But I can resolve that the end will be better than the beginning.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 says that: The end of a thing is better than its beginning;
The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.(NKJV)

It is your decision. The next page, the next chapter, can be infinitely better. I’m trying to share my heart with two entirely different groups….so, if you’re not a Christian, please keep on reading. If you are a Christian, go down past the squiggly line and pick up reading from there.

Perhaps you’re not a Christian. Maybe you’re just happy the way things are. You don’t have God, and you don’t see a need for Him either. Either you curse Him as a raging tyrant or you flippantly refer to Him as though He were some divine butler who can be called or dismissed as you see fit.

But God is who He is-a just, holy God who knows every detail of our lives. We have broken His laws. Have you every told a lie? What does that make you? Have you ever stolen anything, regardless of value? What do YOU call somebody who steals? Have you ever used God’s name as a curse? That’s called blasphemy….taking the precious name of God, who gave you life, and dragging it down to the level of a four-letter filth word. Listen to your conscience…..I’ve only mentioned three of the Ten Commandments! God must punish you for your sins–and that would be eternity in Hell!

But He loved us so much that He sent Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to live a perfect life on earth and to die a horrible death, taking the punishment that we all deserved upon Himself! Three days later Jesus rose again. He can forgive your crimes against God if you repent of your sin and trust in Him and Him only to save you.

If your story doesn’t have Jesus’ forgiveness in it, then you’re already in the middle of a horrible mess, whether you realize it or not. Jesus isn’t going to fix all your problems and give you a fairy-tale life. But His wisdom, love, comfort, strength, Lordship and friendship will always be yours. And most importantly, the end is going to be a good end. Your eternity will be secure. All the self-helps, life improvements and better friends you can get won’t make a lick of difference if eternity in a fiery Hell is what is waiting for you once the end finally arrives.

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Maybe you’re a Christian. And your failures are hounding you like ravenous dogs.  You’re just like me–made resolution after resolution and promise after promise to do better–and if you were lucky, it lasted a day. If that.

We can’t do this on our own. We don’t have the strength to live the way God wants us to on our own.  So get God’s help. Humble yourself.  Learn from your past mistakes…and let them go.

Don’t quit. Keep fighting.  Read your Bible, find out what God wants you to do, and make a resolution–a written one, if you can– which you will be held accountable to. Your past was bad. You knew to do better and you didn’t. Again.  God can make that next page a brighter, better one. God can give you the wisdom to untie some of those impossible knots.

Maybe you weren’t courageous today. Maybe you weren’t truthful. Or kind. Or obedient. Or wise. Look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith, get up, and keep fighting. Resolve that your end will be better. The beginning….not so great. The middle is a mess. But from this minute forward (and that has to be your vow every minute) I will do better. In Christ’s strength, I will do better from this moment on.

The hours are ahead of you…let Christ turn you to a new sheet of paper, and begin again. “The End” will be here sooner than you think.

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