Friday, April 25, 2008

From Start to Finish

    It's hard to comprehend how fast the grass and leaves have grown and turned so green just in the past week!  Flowers have popped up and bloomed in places I had forgotten there were flowers. Unlike myself, when the Lord starts a work, He finishes it.  He said in Genesis 8: 23, "While the earth remaineth, seedtime, and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."   The winter may be long and cold but we have God's promise that spring will always come again.
    Even so it is in our lives.  Sometimes our spirits are cold and barren.  Then the Lord comes along and through His Word the Holy Spirit begins to thaw our spirits out again with the warmth of His wisdom and love.
    Some things have happened in my life during the last few weeks that have brought to my attention just how cold and shallow my spiritual life is at times.  I have seen that I am sometimes too quick to judge, too quick to speak, and sometimes have the wrong motives for the things I do.  I find I need to heed the advice given in James 1: 19: "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"  I am thankful that God has used circumstances in my life to begin to speak to me in that warm and gentle way that He has.  I want to be more aware of the consequences my daily actions have on those around me.
    One night several years ago one of my sons and I were watching a video of an old black and white movie made in the 1940's. (It was called "Sorry, Wrong Number")  Back in the days when it was filmed there was almost always a happy ending for movies and when this one ended on a sour note, I was surprised!  This was the story line: A rich woman married a poor man and supported him with her money.  At first he liked that.  But after a while he wanted to be his own man so he became part of the mob and started stealing money for them.  The mob started demanding he steal more and more money for them and when he wasn't able to supply all the money they wanted they made him a proposal.  They proposed that he hire a hit man to kill his rich wife and then collect her large life insurance policy.  The husband agreed to do this. (1 Timothy 6: 10  "For the love of money is the root of all evil.")  A hit man was hired and a time was set up to carry out the evil deed.  At the very time the husband knew the hit man was to go to his home and kill his wife, he repented and called her on the phone.  With sweat on his brow and tears in his eyes he told her to go to the window of their apartment and scream for help.  But even while she was on the phone the hit man came and carried out his job.  That was the end of the movie!  I was stunned!  I turned to my son and asked him what the point of the movie could have been.  He thought for a minute and then said this..."Events we set in motion cannot always be reversed simply because we feel remorse."   I cannot tell you how many times this has come to my mind since then.  It is so very true.  What we do always affects not only our lives but the lives of those around us....whether we mean for it to or not.  (Romans 14: 7  "For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself."
    But I don't want to end on a discouraging note!  The Apostle Paul gives us hope that we can rise above our faults and failures and be a blessing and not a curse to those around us.  (Philippians 1: 6  "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.")
    As Christians who have been saved by the grace of God, this verse should be a great encouragement to us!  We can't do it on our own....but God promises to finish the work He has started in us.  Remember that as you watch the arrival of spring this year! 
    To God be the Glory!


Joyful said...

Marilyn, Philippians 1:6 is such a powerful verse. It's so key to remember that it is "He" who began the work and "He" who will complete it. So often I want to take control of a responsibility that isn't mine. God began the work, God will complete it. My role is surrender...obedience. We should never look to man for a work that only God can do.

Have a great weekend friend,
Love & prayers,

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

For me, Marilyn, my mouth serves as a weapon that brings both life and at times, death. Blessings and curses out of the same mouth! And when the speak is negative, it sets in motion a series of events that I wish I could reverse. I'm learning...but it's not been easy, for I am woman of words. Talking comes as naturally to me as breathing. I have no problem in finding my voice.

Finding his voice? That's another issue, but I am so thankful that he patiently waits for my yielding. Honestly, I've had enough of myself, and so I bend and believe that he will sanctify my mouth for his good and perfect end.

Thank you, friend, for this post. I very much needed to be fed this evening.