Friday, 9 May 2014

Begin With the End in Mind

This reading is based on Jeremiah chapter 8 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
"There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." Prov. 16: 25
Until I discovered that the late bestselling leadership author, Stephen Covey, had written about "The Eighth Habit" I thought he was the consummate "Seventh-day Adventist" for his famous book, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." Of interest however is the second habit in the 7-pack he offered, "Begin With the End in Mind."
As if to jerk His people into the harsh reality of where the course they have chosen will lead them, the prophet Jeremiah and those involved in the canonization process were led to start the discussion in chapter 8 on the exhumed bones of the dead. The funny thing is that the bones remained dead - quite unlike the case with Ezekiel where the bones came to life again (Eze. 37).
The offer in the Plan of Salvation is that through the ministry of Jesus, who declared and demonstrated His power over death at the resurrection of Lazarus assured all who would believe in and follow Him, "I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in Me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." John 11: 25. It is within this spirit that Jesus is "the Way, the Truth, and the Life." John 14: 6.
Clearly outside of the Plan of Salvation would fall the appropriate caution of the wise man Solomon, "There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death." This refers to the second death (Rev. 2: 11; 20: 6, 14; 21: 8). Pragmatism would dictate that upon deciding on a path to pursue, due diligence should be done to ascertain its after-death value. We need to ask ourselves, "Will this choice get me in the first resurrection, or the second" (Rev 20: 5, 6)? Stephen Covey did capture it quite succinctly, "Begin with the end in mind."
Dear God of the eternal future, thank you for going ahead and laying down plans for our future salvation. Thank you for establishing the process that by believing and following after Christ we'll "not perish, but have everlasting life," (John 3: 16), in His name amen.

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