This devotional was written by Mike DeVries
And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. 1 Corinthians 3:18 (MSG)
I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge movie fan. I love a great story, especially the kind that keeps you guessing all the way to the end. I love that sensation of awakening, when all of sudden everything just clicks and you think to yourself, “Now I get it! That’s why…”
I have this theory. I think we love stories so much because we connect with them in very deep and profound ways. We see ourselves in them. We connect with the emotion and the drama. Even if we know how the story ends, we are still captured in the moment.
But what if we don’t know how the story ends? We find ourselves in the middle of the story wondering if this is all there is going to be. How will the story end?
Have you ever met those people whose entire lives are defined by something that happened in the past? It’s as if whatever took place in the past, whatever pain might have happened, affects how they respond to the present. Their entire identity is defined by their past experience. It is as if the story stopped right then and there.
Perhaps you’ve met someone like that. Perhaps it’s you.
Jesus made this fascinating statement once. He said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” One Bible paraphrase puts it this way, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.”
It appears that Jesus is inviting us into something so much larger than just getting into heaven when we die. Jesus is inviting us into the kingdom kind of life now – a life that is whole and free, forgiven and redeemed, restored and renewed. Jesus came not to give us a religion, or a set of beliefs; He came to set us free, not only from something, but also to something. We’ve been set free so that we can really, really live in the here and now, not just someday, somewhere else.
The hope of Jesus is that what we are experiencing is not the end of the story. Our lives are a grand story, with many chapters. So no matter what chapter you are in right now, there is another one coming. Whatever you are going through in life right now, know that the message of Jesus is that whatever has previously affected you is not the end of the story. God has the final word.
Our lives are a part of a much larger story, the story of what God is doing in this world, and dreaming for it.
Take hope today – your life matters. There’s a story being told and you are a part of it. When you are tempted to dwell on the past, or even the present, remember that this is not the end of the story. God is the God of the story – including this chapter, and the next.
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1. Where in your life today do you need the reminder that “this is not the end of the story”?
2. What can you do over the next few days to remind yourself of this truth?
Acts 3:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:17-20; Revelation 21:1-5
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