Thoughts on life, leadership and the movement called the church by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

by Brian C. Hughes, Senior Pastor

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Starting Well Right Now

To finish well, you have to start well.  And you can start well right now.

I made that declaration several times today.  It reflects one of the foundational ideas that I believe about God.  Regardless of where you are or what you've done, He is the God of the second chance.  It's never too late to begin start over...and to start well.  Jesus modeled it.  We can live it.

What I find is that many people often have a hard time keeping their commitment to God and keeping their faith strong and vibrant.  Many times, blame is assigned to God.  "He's not speaking to me." "He's not telling me what to do." "He's allowing bad things to happen to me."

But there is also a frequent pattern of neglect on our part.  We expect God to do all of the work, while we sit in our spiritual LazyBoy.  But that's not how it works.

In the Old Testament, there is a very conspicuous characteristic to the covenant that God made with His people.  It went like this:

If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands...I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. (Lev 26:3,12)  

But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deut 4:29)

 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.
 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come." (Gen 17:7,9)

Notice that there are two sides to this commitment.  God does His part.  But to keep the relationship healthy, God's people have to do their part, too.  And this give-and-take relationship seems to continue even after Jesus came:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28) Note that we have to 'come to' Jesus.  That's our part.

"Come near to God and he will come near to you." (James 4:8)  Again, note that we have to come to God.  That's our part.

We have a part in the relationship.  We're not passive, but active participants.  Like any relationship, it takes TWO!  God is not going to force you into a healthy relationship with Him.  If He did all the work, it wouldn't be healthy!

But the good news is that God allows for a fresh start.  If you've neglected to invest in your relationship with Him, you will find Him waiting for you - excited to have you back and excited to be back in your life!

So, grab your Bible, get a little note pad and start reading.  Start in Matthew and Go!  Also, sign up for the daily Bible reading reminder by texting "pccwired3" to 41411.  You'll get a text every day with what to read, and you can also read with online by clicking here.

Finally, set aside some time to pray.  Just talk to God and allow Him to speak to you.  He will influence your thoughts, nudge you about things, offer corrections, promptings and direction.

You won't regret the investment.  Remember, you can't finish well if you don't start well, and you can start well right now!

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