Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | April 10, 2015

April 10, 2015 “The Alpha and the Omega”

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12: 1-2)

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

Good Morning Everyone! Blessed be the Lord our God who has given us this new day!

Most of us, if we are brutally honest, would have to admit that there are decisions we have made in our lives that, in retrospect, we regret. As I consider my own life, many such decisions revolve around some particular endeavor I undertook but failed to see through to completion. Three examples from childhood come to mind, all of which involve what might be categorized as being “musical failures” on my part. On three separate occasions, I decided that there were musical instruments I’d like to learn to play. The first was the trumpet. This was not a difficult undertaking from the start. My brother had already begun taking trumpet lessons, but quickly decided that the pursuit of romance was more to his liking, so he abandoned the instrument in favor of more appealing “inclinations.”Thus, the trumpet was available, so I decided to give it a whirl. I liked all the valves and its shiny appearance. It did not take long for me to realize, though, that in order to master the trumpet, it was necessary to actually practice the trumpet, and this I was reticent to do. My foray in that undertaking was short-lived. I had similar experiences with the cello. I had seen a bass player that I admired, and regarded the cello as a first step in becoming a bass player…another unfortunate inference on my part. To make matters worse, I did not much care for my cello instructor, nor did she take a particular liking to me. It’ too, began gathering dust and I have not played the cello since. The third effort was my flirtation with the piano. My dad used to say “a piano player will never go hungry”, because everyone, it seemed, wanted to know someone with the ability to play the piano. But like the trumpet and cello before, it, too, remained virtually silent. Besides, pianos were not easily transported.

The point of these anecdotal recollections could best be summed up by the old familiar proverb: “It’s not how you start…it’s how you finish.” I did not persevere in those efforts, and confess to some measure of regret, (well, not so much for the cello…but the others, yes).  Thankfully, we have a Lord who is in the business of finishing that which he started. He even identifies himself in scripture as “the Alpha and the Omega”, the “beginning and the end.” In Hebrews, he is called the “author and perfecter of faith.” In Philippians, Paul reiterates this when he writes “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” The Lord will always finish what He starts, and it is He who is the author of the faith we have in him. It is He who will see to it that this faith bears the “fruit of the Spirit” within us…”love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control”, for not only is he the author of these things…he is also the “perfecter” of these things. The process is called sanctification. Be confident, then, of this: He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” The Alpha and the Omega will never be distracted, and will never give up on you and me. Let’s pray!

Throughout my life, O Lord, work in my heart, my mind, my soul, and my spirit, until that day I stand before you, my altogether Righteous Lord, redeemed by your grace, rescued by your never-failing love. This I pray in the name of King Jesus, my Lord and my God. Amen!

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