1 Peter 1:8-9, “You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.”
I read once, ‘Each month stands before you like a chapter in a book waiting to be written, it's blank pages waiting to be filled.’
As a writer this of course caught my attention. When I sit down to write I stare at the blank pages waiting to be filled. I have a general outline of ideas where I want the book to go, main points I want to incorporate to build the story.
Now, if I stuck to just the outline of general ideas and just put those in, the story would be quite short and over in minutes. For a good story to fill the pages of a book I need to allow the twists and turns and ups and downs. I even have to allow the story to go in another direction before reaching the end. Hopefully by the end of the story we are left with a smile on our face, and everyone gets their happy ending.
Our lives can be looked at the same way. Right now, the next ten months of blank pages are before you before the year ends. You probably have an outline already filling some of the pages. Summer plans, birthdays, graduations, vacations, and the seasons will change as they come and go. You have a general direction for your year ahead.
Over these months we'll see many ups and downs in our lives. We’ll laugh, we’ll cry, we'll get angry or upset and then there will be times we will be living in the white pages and at the end of the year we’ll close this book, no matter the good or bad we've been through, it will be over. Hopefully there will be a happy ending.
1 Peter 1:5-7, “God’s power protects you through your faith until salvation is shown to you at the end of time. This makes you very happy, even though now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold, which can be proved to be pure by fire but will ruin. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ is shown to you.”
What does living in the white pages mean? Let's hope your life over the year won't be in a dramatic fast forward. I hope we all can find moments when we're in a place to say, “hey, things are moving along slowly, and nothing is really happening to write home about.”
For instance, the Israelites roamed the desert for forty years and a lot happened but not every day was recorded in the Bible. The stories are of dramatic events that changed the course of their lives and hopefully teach us a few lessons.
Over the years I have felt that I was in the white pages every so often which was nice, but I learned a couple of things too. While in those pages I had better enjoy it and strap into my seat belt because the Lord is most likely preparing me for something that will fill the pages again. I've also gained a greater peace in life knowing it's okay, the good or bad I face, because I know God’s got this! He will see me and my family through any ups and downs we face. This doesn't mean I won't fret, worry, or stress. I just know we will get through it somehow and God will have the answer.
So, what does this year look like for you? How are you going to fill your pages? In the last year what has been your greatest accomplishment? What are you most proud of? Did you achieve your goals? 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? From ten years ago until today are you happy how your life has unfolded? How about over the last 12 months? Is where you are today where you've wanted to be and is what you've done what you set out to do? And one final question, is your life where you want it to be with God?
1 Peter 1:22-23 says, “Now that your obedience to the truth has purified your souls, you can have true love for your Christian brothers and sisters. So love each other deeply with all your heart. You have been born again, and this new life did not come from something that dies, but from something that cannot die. You were born again through God’s living message that continues forever.”
As you go through this year how do you plan on filling your pages beyond everyday life? You may already spend time with Jesus, already have devotions, but why stay there? Over this year strengthened that walk, strengthen your hope, deepen your relationship with God. Fill your pages with Jesus so that others too can see Jesus in you.
This year might be just about filling the pages of one chapter in your life, but you have had many chapters already filled and you have many still ahead of you. When that final day comes and others look back at your book, what will they say? What do you want them to see and know?
Does your life represent a life filled with hope, faith, and trust in God in good times and bad or does it read a completely different story? I find it ironic that talking about our lives and filling the pages that in Revelation 3:5 it says, “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.
As Christians, we believe that the Bible is the Word of God to us. We say we love God, but do you realize that only nine percent of Americans read the Bible daily? Why is that when the Bible is what we say we believe? How can we believe and follow what the Scriptures say if we haven’t even read all of it? God speaks to us through the Bible. It’s His letter to us. We need to read and know it. We learn who God is. The Bible isn’t about us and how we can apply it to our life. It is about God, His character, His plan, and how we are to glorify Him. Solidifies your faith and builds your doctrine. We become firm in our faith when we know what we actually believe and why we believe it.
Let's finish our last study in 1 Timothy 6:11-16, 20-21. I hope you have gained some new thoughts, maybe a few new perspectives, and the Lord has helped you grow closer to Him and has helped you in your walk to be more Christ-like.
Study 8- 1 Timothy 6:11-16, 20-21- https://www.docdroid.net/ErqfP57/study-8-docx
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