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Sunday, November 29, 2020

The Gift of Listening

Everyone has a story. The story of our life helps shape us. The events we have been through, the things we have experienced, the things we have overcome and the things that we are still overcoming will continue to affect us every day. The past cannot be changed. While our pasts are part of us, they are only just a part. The past life, before Christ, is crucified with Him on the cross (Galatians 2:20).

My past isn’t my future. The future is before us. Making new choices, making new memories, living out a new life each day -- our future is both set and not set. On the one hand, the future not being set brings excitement and caution. Every day we venture into the unknown, wondering what might be in store for us.

Yet in another way, the future is set. We know, through the Revelation of John, how the last days will unfold. We know that in the battle between good and evil that ultimately the Lord will prevail. We also know that in His great love and mercy, the saved will be rescued from a fate worse than death and will go on into everlasting life. “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

The story of my life before Christ cleansed me of my sins is one of death. This death wants to take hold of me and rule over me. In my life now, I look forward to the future because “in the future there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8). The story of my life after Christ, is one of life and light, love and hope, joy and redemption.

When you find Jesus and His forgiveness, know that the past doesn’t rule over you any longer. Know that your past can’t and won’t separate you from Christ (Romans 8:38-39). Know then that your future should be one that is free from sin: “Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:11).

The future we await, longing to hear Christ’s words: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:14-30) lies in the choices we make every day to “take up” our “cross daily and follow” Him (Luke 9:23-26).

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