Jump Start # 3235
1 Corinthians 15:24 “then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.”
Our verse today, coming from the resurrection chapter of Corinthians, deals with the coming of Jesus. The Lord is coming. He is not coming to finish business. He is not coming to set things up. He is not coming to establish the kingdom. Instead, as our passage states, He will hand the kingdom over to the Father.
The verse today begins with the expression “then comes the end.” And, so we have come to the end of this year. This is the last Jump Start for 2022. We have published 230 Jump Starts this year. We are about to begin our 13th year of writing these daily lessons. Estimating that the average Jump Start is around 900 words, we have written over three million words. There are only 770,000 words in the Bible. All of this is hard for me to grasp.
We have come to the end of this year. Was it a good year? Was it a terrible year? Was it a mixture? Weddings took place. Babies were born. Some ended their journey here. Vacations. School. Smiles. Tears. New friends. Old friends. Preachers moving. Shepherds appointed. So many sermons were preached this past year. So many classes were taught. We come to the end of this year.
Here are some lessons for us:
First, every year is a mixture of ups and downs. The things that we worried about five years ago have likely been forgotten by now. But one constant through all of this is our faith in Jesus Christ. God remains upon the throne. Through the valleys and during those wonderful and joyous moments when we are on top of the world, God is there. He has blessed us, forgiven us, been patient with us and has guided us. God has never let us down. Philippians 4:5 says, “The Lord is near.” What comfort that is.
Second, we are rapidly moving towards “then comes the end.” One day the last Jump Start will be written. I have already thought about that. One day, I will preach my last sermon. One day, I will attend my last worship service. As we eagerly await seeing our Lord on the other side, there are some things that I will miss. I have stood behind pulpits for a long, long time. I think I will miss that. I have enjoyed this little journey that we call Jump Starts. I think I will miss writing. But mind, health, body reminds us that “then comes the end.” Are we thinking about that? Do we live with the concept of “out of sight, out of mind?” That’s not the best way to walk through life. God told Hezekiah to set his house in order because he was going to die. That statement is an absolute. We ought to be setting our house in order, especially spiritually.
Third, we know because of what the Bible teaches, that although this world will end and even our lives here will end, we won’t. There is no “The End,” to our story. The cemetery is not the end of the journey. We do not have a last page to our lives. As the hymn states, “I’ll live on and on.” After my sweet dad passed from this world, I inherited a large picture of my great-great grandfather, a Civil War veteran and a N.T. Christian. It hangs in my home office. He was gone before my dad was born. I never knew him. It’s a family treasure but it also reminds me that he has been on the other side longer than he was here. And, that’s the reality for all of us. We will be on the other side a lot, lot longer than we are on this side of things. Paul’s words to the Romans remind us to be devoted to prayer, serve the Lord and to be “one another” minded. Far too many think more of this place than the other place. We must be different.
Fourth, then comes the end. A day is coming when God will no longer need this planet. A day is coming when there won’t be a need for sermons. A day is coming when we won’t need our Bibles any more. Then comes the end. What a reminder for us.
Thank you for reading and sharing our Jump Starts this year. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and help in this endeavor. So many of you have shared these simple writings with others. And, now, if the Lord allows, we are on to a new year and new adventures!
The Lord is near!