27th December 2013

Keeping Right On To The End 

He will keep you strong to the end.”
1 Corinthians 1:8 (NIV UK)

As we approach the end of 2013, some of us may be taking stock. How well did we do this year? Did we accomplish what we set out to do? 

Spiritually speaking, we sometimes do a similar personal inventory. Recently Wimbledon winner Andy Murray was awarded the BBC Sports Personality of 2013. What if there was a similar “Christian of the Year” award? Would any of us win it? Would we even be nominated? How have we fared with God? If you’re like me, you always feel there is room for improvement. But, conversely…how has God done with us? “Couldn’t be better”, would be Paul’s response, I think. God’s grace and love hold us on to us, even when we think we are slipping away from him. 

When Paul wrote to the Corinthians he was concerned that they understood exactly what Christ had done for them, was doing for them, and would continue to do for them. They had been sanctified in Christ Jesus (1:2): grace and peace was theirs (1:3); they had been “enriched in every way” in Christ (1:4); the testimony of Christ had been confirmed in them (1:6); they were not lacking in spiritual giftedness (1:7). 

Yes, of course the Corinthians had problems, but Jesus is greater than and stronger than all of their problems combined. The same is true of all our shortcomings throughout the year. We are imperfect but, thankfully, we participate in Jesus’ perfection. What’s more, salvation is not about our strength – it’s about Jesus’ strength. It’s not about whether we are faithful, but about how God, who has called us “into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful” (1:9). 

Paul knew of the ups and downs of the Christian life. Following Jesus is not always smooth going. Maybe your year so far has been a rather bumpy ride and you’re ending it on a spiritual low. It happens, doesn’t it? 

Paul’s message to the Corinthians and to us is one of encouragement. Even though we may wonder whether we have it in us to finish the course, Jesus keeps us strong to the end…to the end of this year, and of every year! 

Gracious Father, thank you for Jesus, who, through your Spirit, keeps us and looks after us, and who strengthens us to the end. In his name.

Study by James Henderson


ancientbibleAbout the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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