Finishing is better than starting. ~Ecclesiastes 7:8
Once again, here are the three things I feel we need from God:
1. I would like to pray for courage. I need courage from God.
2. I would like to pray for clarity. I need clarity from God.
3. I would like to pray for conclusion. I need conclusion from God.
We have previously talked about courage and clarity, and today we talk about conclusion. Conclusion is a little more difficult to understand but it is essential in what we need from God. Conclusion sounds final and it implies the end of a matter but conclusion can also be the settling of a matter. In other words, conclusion can also mean we have come to an agreement to proceed. We have concluded on what we are to do and now we proceed.
Today, finding a conclusion is getting harder and harder to accomplish. Now, we have a generation that likes to put off what should be done today for a better time and place. For me, I want to know the conclusion of any matter so I know how I can enact those decisions made and proceed in the manner of that decision. One of my biggest frustrations in life is when I thought a conclusion was made on a matter and so I begin the process to plan things out … then out of the blue something changes. That change comes long after a decision was made and settled. This situation following a conclusion in decision making is what brings lawsuits and emotional disappointments. Why? Because conclusion brings about the end to all negotiating, arguing, all discovery and it settles all opposing viewpoints in an agreement that brings about a conclusion.
What does that mean for you in your life? Simple, we need to know the conclusion because without it we will keep asking, still seeking, and keep knocking … trying to find the answers to how to live. God is the conclusion for everything in life, so what does that mean? He has settled the matter, He has decided how life is defined, He knows how that definition plays out in your life. I do believe that unless you know how the conclusion of life ends you will not know how to live.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
I’m not sure who first made the case in their preaching to look at the end of life … the conclusion … and then back it up to the present. Perhaps it was Solomon, but regardless, it is a good way to live. The conclusion will be influenced by how we live today. Charles Dickins wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ where the main character saw the conclusion of his life in a set of dreams. Seeing that conclusion made him want to change his life in the present, so the conclusion to what he saw in his dreams would not come true. Without the end in view, the present can take on a variety of directions. When Jesus told His disciples about the ministry of the Holy Spirit, He said:
John 16:8 And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.
The Holy Spirit’s ministry among us concludes that He will bring illumination as He works among us. All three areas of the ministry of the Holy Spirit do connect and bring conclusion.
Our sin is taken care of by God’s righteousness in Christ, and the judgment is prepared for those who reject Christ.
The conclusion is the judgment. God will judge those who have ignored Him and have lived out their lives in evil pursuits. That is not the conclusion we want for anyone. Our desire is to present the Gospel to people so they understand and accept:
John 3:16 For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
The other conclusion is not life but death.
Revelation 21:8 But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.
When you compare these life and death scriptures, you have to conclude that no one wants their life to conclude in Revelation 21:8, but rather choose to live in John 3:16!
Conclusion is important in your faith. It settles all matters of doubt and sets you free from the pursuit of not knowing how things will end in this world. When you accept that all of life goes back to God and it is God you face when your life ends, you begin to realize how important conclusion can be.
So, these are the three things we need from God:
1. Courage to stand
2. Clarity to proceed
3. Conclusion to know
A disciple of Jesus Christ needs to know these three if they are to live out their lives for Christ.
Challenging the Culture with Truth … Larry Kutzler