1 Peter 1:2 "God planned long ago to choose you by making you his holy people, which is the Spirit’s work. God wanted you to obey him and to be made clean by the blood of the death of Jesus Christ."
What are bookends anyway? They come in many styles, from amazingly simple to quite elegant and bulky. Bookends are used to keep a person's books held together in a nice, neat row, while standing on a book shelf. They usually come in a set and one is put at the beginning of your books and one at the end.
Did you know our prayer life can be like bookends? We usually begin our day on the right foot. We pray for God's protection, direction, and blessings to help us through the day. But what about the end of our day, the end of tasks or our journey.
Starting your day in prayer is one of the bookends, by adding a prayer at the end of your day it is like adding the matching bookend onto the end. In the morning you make your petitions to the Lord and by ending in prayer it brackets the day's work, brings the day into full recognition of God's help through the day. Keeping all your daily works lined up in a neat row. Ending your day in prayer is an expression of praise and Thanksgiving.
The Bible is full of those who spent time in prayer asking the Lord to be with them and guide them. I think of Esther, she spent time in prayer before going before the King and after a time of events and her prayers being answered, she ended in a prayer of Thanksgiving. David went in prayer against Goliath and ended the battle with a prayer of praise over a victory.
When we end our day, our situation in prayer, we can be filled with encouragement and joy to God who has kept His word to us. When we reach the end of our day all haggard and weary, we can find peace in the arms of God. Knowing God will be with us each day helps us get through our day but knowing he was with us through the day and will be with us tomorrow will give us peace through the night.
It is said your life is like many books. Each year is another book filled with each day’s pages filling those books. You start the day with white pages and as you go along the words fill the spaces. So, let me ask you this? In the last year what has been your greatest accomplishment? What are you most proud of? Did you achieve your goals? And in the last decade how have you grown? What have you done? From ten years ago until today how have you changed? Did you fulfill your dreams?
Can you answer these questions? Did you accomplish anything or fulfill your dreams? From ten years ago until today are you happy with how your life has unfolded? How about over the last twelve months? Is where you are today or what you have done, where you wanted to be and set out to do? And one final question. Is your life where you want it to be with God?
A story is told of a father on his death bed. He had three children and wanted a final word with each. When the first child came in, the father told him how proud he was of all he had done in life and then the father said, “Good night, I’ll see you in the morning.”
When his second child came in, the father again gave his praise and again said, “Good night, I’ll see you in the morning.”
Finally, the third child came in. The father didn’t say much but looked at him and spoke. “Goodbye son,” he said with a heavy heart.
The son was upset. “Wait,” he said. “You told my siblings goodnight and that you’ll see them in the morning but to me only goodbye, why?”
“I have lived my life for Jesus, and I know I will see Him coming and have the promise of salvation,” the father began. “Your brother and sister have also lived their lives serving the Lord and I have the hope of seeing them at salvation ready to meet Jesus because of the promise in the Word of God that assures us of a reunion. But for you this is goodbye. You have chosen a life serving yourself in this world. This is goodbye because I have no hope I will see you on resurrection day.”
This story hit home when I heard it. How easy it becomes to get caught up in this world with work, family, our homes that even as Christians we tend to let our walk with God find the back burners. We think, oops I missed my time with Him today because I got busy, I suppose I’ll just make time tomorrow. And tomorrow turns to the next day and so forth. And before we realize it, we have slowly pushed the Lord out until we need Him for this crisis or that crisis. But by then we just might have lost something precious we as Christians have been given, hope.
You might already spend time with Jesus, already pray and have devotions but why stay there? This year strengthen that walk, strengthen your hope, deepen your relationship with God. Fill your pages with Jesus where others too can see Jesus in you and find strength.
Revelation 3:5, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
We are found in God’s book of life but when we choose to not follow God, He will blot us out of the book, Revelation 20:12-15. I don’t know about you, but I would like to be found in the book of life when Jesus returns. So, I am choosing to serve Jesus daily and I will try to keep filling my pages with Christ. I know I will fall at times and I know I will struggle for time with Jesus, but I will keep trying and I will hold onto the promises we are given in the Bible. I choose hope because there will be a day when Jesus returns and will take His children home and I want to be there with my loved ones, be it this year or the next or whenever He comes again.
And the best way to hold our books together, our lives together, is to begin and close each day in prayer and spend our days in God’s Word. Allow Jesus to be the hands of your bookends, holding you together each day from sunrise to sunset and through the night. Let’s all remember to find hope in Jesus, open each day and close each day in prayer and allow Jesus to fulfill His promises to each of us each day as we fill the pages in the chapters and books of our lives.
For further study take time today to read 1 Peter 1 and find wonderful promises and hope Jesus has for you today.
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