Jesus Is the Author and Finisher of the Faith
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." (Hebrews 12:1-3)
"You built all this, Dad?" It was her first time visiting the site of her dad's latest contracting job, and Elise couldn't help but be impressed.
"You bet," said Dad. "The docks, the shed, the cabinets, the rails. Our company designed and built the whole marina, from start to finish!"
Elise tried to think of something that she had been a part of from start to finish. Well, she washed a whole sinkful of dishes all by herself last week! – but, then again, the sink was almost full of dirty dishes again by the next day! Had she ever invented something, or designed something brand new? Had she ever finished something once and for all? Hmmm. She wondered.
As her dad walked her around the marina, pointing out little details about the structural choices and telling stories about the construction process, the question kept coming up to Elise's mind: Had she ever thought up a new idea and carried it out to the end? She couldn't think of one thing.
Have you? Human beings are very talented and gifted in amazing ways, because God made us in His own image, with imagination and affections and intelligence and creativity. But even the most amazing individuals could never do what Jesus Christ did, both physically and spiritually. Jesus was and still is 100% God and 100% human. He is the only One Who could have "designed" and "built" and accomplished the greatest plan in the universe – the Gospel.
When Bible translators used the words "the author and finisher of our faith" to describe Jesus, they were expressing the idea that Jesus was there when the idea of salvation was invented (He is God, so He thought up the plan!). He is the One Who has carried it through till now. And He will see it continue on through eternity. When it comes to redeeming us and glorifying God by our redemption, Jesus Christ is the Author and Finisher, the only One there "from start to finish"!
Elise admired her dad for his skills and his contracting company's accomplishments in finishing the marina. How much more should we meditate on the greatness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the great truth that He authored (began) it and will keep on finishing it (bringing it to completion) with every passing day! What a great Creator and Savior we have in the Lord Jesus Christ!
The whole plan of redemption begins and ends with Jesus Christ!
» Do I spend much time thinking about what Jesus is able to do?
» What does Jesus' "authoring" and "finishing" of the faith mean to me?
» Does Jesus Christ finish the good things He begins? Has He begun a good thing in my heart?
Truth In Real Life
Betsie ten Boom
“We must tell people how good God is. We can tell them how wonderful God is, and how His love will fill our lives, if only we will give up our hatred and bitterness.”
When people hear the last name of “ten Boom” they often think of Corrie ten Boom. When the Nazis invaded Holland during World War II, Corrie ten Boom and her family helped their Jewish friends by hiding them in their home. A name less well-known, and much less honored, is that of Corrie’s sister, Betsie.
The ten Booms were known for honoring God by loving their neighbors as themselves. It was this love for people that ended up costing them their freedom, their health, and – in the case of Betsie and several other relatives – even their lives.
On February 28, 1944, after the betraying words of a fellow Dutchman, the Nazi secret police invaded the ten Boom home and took the entire household prisoner. The ten Booms and the people they were hiding at the time were split up and sent to terrible concentration camps where they were starved and treated with humiliating cruelty every day. Already old and somewhat fragile, Mr. ten Boom died after spending just over a week in prison. Corrie and Betsie spent the next ten months in three different prison camps.
Every single day they were together, Betsie encouraged Corrie in the Lord.
Corrie ten Boom – one of the few survivors from her family – often said that it was because of her older sister, Betsie, that she was able to have the strength to share God’s love. Betsie would talk often about the prison guards or the men who beat them. But instead of cursing them, Betsie would say things like, “I feel sorry for them,” or, “May God forgive them.” And she meant it. Betsie loved her enemies.
Betsie ten Boom died only a few days before she would have been released. Her sister Corrie’s name might not have been so familiar to us today if Betsie had not been her spiritual helper and best friend. What kind of brother or sister are you? What kind of spiritual help are you to your friends? Do you share God’s love?
Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.