Between the Ends: June 7, 2016


Because we’re all in a revolving door called life, we find ourselves confronting new vistas and uncharted worlds, which often bring with them new opportunities and new challenges.  In 1976, there I stood as a proud police officer for the 1st MP Co, 716th MP Battalion, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley Ks.  With me were the essentials of my police equipment: weapon, handcuffs, nightstick, and radio. I was ready for the new phase of my life…  I think. The truth, probably, not so much…

Your success in life will depend upon certain essentials, especially when your life enters a new phase! I’ve enjoyed several new phases in my life- and whether it was college, the army, marriage, family, seminary, business, church planting, or non-profit, I have faced decisions… And I have discovered: Every decision matters, because they all have consequences. 

The Great Noah of the Bible spent just over a year, in transition from what he was before, to what he would become in a brave new world! He was stripped of most everything he owned when he entered the ark. When he emerged from his hibernation there were but a few essentials at his disposal- the same, by the way, that are yours as well.

For starters: 

  1. Your own vessel (body): Your body is the only one you’re going to get and God expects it to be exercised in holiness and Holy abandon.  “For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in lustful passion… For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.”  (1Thess.4). “Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” (1Cor.9:24-27). Noah allowed his pre-occupation with alcohol to blur his focus and his judgment! You cannot!
  2. Your time: we are all given 24 hours in a day and each day is to be lived with the recognition that you are accountable to God for everything you do with it!  Noah understood this while the ark was under construction; lost sight of it when the crisis had passed. He confused leisure with lasciviousness  and woke up to a drunken, mindless stupor. God says, “Redeem the time”, because we live in an evil day! (Ephesians 5:17)
  3. Your relationship with God. Protect it, nourish it and sustain it with the Scriptures. If you have no mission statement for your life, get one… if you’re not in a habit of a daily meditation where you come to the altar of God, then start one. Some of you are entrusting your eternity to some emotional decision you made when you were ten without so much of any biblical evidence, testimony, or growth to confirm you really are a believer. You’re on shaky ground!
  4. Your wisdom: God’s covenant with Noah sustained him, if not instructed him in everything from construction of the ark to the care of his family. But in the crucible of temptation, his wisdom lacked the discernment between what was available and what’s advisable. Alcohol may be allowable in the Scriptures but there’s plenty of support for why it’s not wise for the believer. (all things are lawful… But I will not be mastered by anything: I Cor. 6:12

And every day of your college life, work life, or private life, you will bump up against situations that will challenge these essentials. The expectations for your walk with God don’t change because you’re now an adult, you’re retired, you’re in a tough profession, or you’re suffering under duress. 

The point is, that every decision matters, because they all have consequences. Choose wisely!