Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Closer: To God. To Home. To Others.

Day 21: Perseverance of Failures

In case you haven't figured it out yet, the Bible is a book full of failures. The Bible never fails to show us the true humanity of the figures we've grown to hold in high esteem. Whether it be Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Peter, Thomas, Paul or any number of characters, they all were completely fallible and failed often. Yet despite all of their faults, God still found a way to use them.

One of my favorites is the story of Jacob. He's seen as one of the three Patriarchs of our faith (Abraham & Isaac are the others), but let's look at his early life. He cheats his brother out of his birthright, lies to his father to get the blessing of the first-born and runs away in fear for his life. That's not the best start one can make. Still, he made a decision to follow God and listen to his words, and for this faith he was blessed to be the father of a great nation. It's not how you begin, but how you finish.

If we look at another person from the Bible, David, we'll see the opposite of Jacob's story. He started out with things going for him. He kills a giant and becomes famous, and even though he has hard times he always does the right thing. It isn't until he was king for a while that he committed the sins of adultery and murder. He paid the price for his sin the rest of his life. When we look back on his life, it becomes a cautionary tale. Again, it's not how you begin, but how you finish.

Perhaps you've had a rocky start in life. Maybe you are living for only yourself. The good news is, no matter what you've done, your story isn't over yet. Get back in the race, and you too can finish strong.

Prayer Focus: Pray that you can persevere to the end despite your failures.

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