Did you get that title? lol Beginnings are just that…beginnings. All beginnings conclude with ends. There are no beginnings without ends. No matter how brief something or someone exists, there is always an end. Monday, our family had a beginning. James “Jakob” Worley was born. His life began at 4:12pm and our life as a family of four ended. I never thought of that until just now. We are now a family of five! Praise God! Jakob’s life has just begun, but as a parent, as aware of his life’s beginning as I am, I am equally focused on tomorrow, next week, next year, and the next fifty years of his life. Before his birth, Jo and I were already dreaming and hoping for what his life might look like right after he was born and long after he’s grown-up into an adult. We had our eyes on his future before his life began. We have been preparing for his arrival for months now. We’ve prepared to receive him now and to maintain and teach him for many years to come.
I believe God goes before us and prepares what we are going to encounter and along the way He prepares us for the encounters & experiences we will face. I don’t believe He prepares us to sin or “ordains” us to commit certain sins; I don’t find that Biblical. I do believe, however, that God already knows what we will experience in life and already knows the sins we will commit. In response to knowing what we will do, He turns it all for His glory. His mercy and grace embodies our wicked lives as Believers and it truly is “by grace therefore we go.”
Let me be clear about one point; God does not ordain us or control us to sin or to go to hell. Knowing what we will do is different than controlling what we do. For example, I know that if my three year old sees a cookie on the table, she will (without a doubt in my mind) pick it up and eat it. Knowing that doesn’t mean I made her pick it up and eat it. Clear?
OK. Back to beginnings. Just like you and I, Jakob’s beginning has an end. Where his journey ends, even spiritually, I don’t know. That’s scary to me. I don’t know what his future holds, but I know who holds it. Unlike the ignorance I have of Jakob’s end, I do know the spiritual end for me. You see, it’s hard sometimes to know why God gave us life, why we began, why we are here one moment and gone the next. Why we are here is a huge theological question, especially because we are here for such a short amount of time. I spoke to a man named Michael today. He said something that struck me in the depth of my soul and the more I think about it, the more I agree with him. When I asked him why he was here; what his purpose in this life was, he said, “My goal is to be mistaken for Jesus Christ.” And to what end will that bring Michael? Understanding why we are here is vital to understanding where we’re going…the end.
Why have you begun? Why are you here? For a Believer, your life in Christ and your end in Christ was determined all in one moment, the moment you decided to surrender your life to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of your life. Much like when Jakob was born, there was no turning back…he was born!…alive!, when you genuinely surrender your life to Jesus Christ, there’s no turning back. Once you begin the journey, you know how it will end…eternally in the presence of God.
Does your birthday define your true beginning or does your new birth in Christ Jesus? The end determined for the unbeliever is eternal separation from God, but the end determined for the Believer is eternal presence with God Almighty. May you make the decision for Jesus today. May Jakob make the decision for Jesus.
Thank you Father for physical beginnings and spiritual beginnings. And Father we thank You for the ends in our lives as they always mark a time for more beginnings. May all who read this blog receive a new beginning in Christ Jesus if they have not already, making their end eternally present with You. Thank You Father for the gift of children, the gift of sacrifice given by Your Son, and the gift of grace, mercy, and forgiveness; all of which we would suffer eternally without. To Your name be the glory forever and ever, amen.