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The Finish Line

31 Dec

It’s about 6:20 p.m. now on Wednesday night, and I am sitting here in our Living Room next to the Christmas Tree to write the final blog of the year 2015. As most of you know, I have been blogging every weekday (except Labor Day) this year through the New Testament. And it’s kind of funny – coming home tonight, I parked the car in the garage and starting to come inside, I realized, “I’ve got to blog!” It’s not the first time I have forgotten this year. But it was kind of funny, as it is the last blog of the year. Maybe it was my friend Kevin who made me forget – he sent me a congratulatory text this morning about having successfully blogged through the Year (and he read them all – a true friend!), so subconsciously perhaps I thought I was done. Not yet. I am close to the finish line though.

Finishing. I haven’t always done it so well. And I suppose I’m not alone.

Starting is dreaming. Finishing is…work.

But don’t be too quick to give me kudos, for with the blog there was significant social pressure. Not having written a blog sometime this year would have been like showing up on Saturday night or Sunday morning without a sermon. I may have come close to this pastoral nightmare sometime in my life’s work, but the sheer terror of letting so many people down has kept me from it. People-pleasing runs strong in my blood.

And so I finish today. And so do you, if you joined us on our journey through the New Testament. Congrats, and hats off to you! I know it has been a blessing (at least the Bible part, if not the blog!). For you regular readers wondering where the blog will go from here, I have an answer: I will be publishing a blog every Tuesday. There, I said it. Now the five of you waiting with baited breath each Tuesday should hopefully be enough to keep my keyboard to the blogstone (like “nose to the grindstone”, but clever, you know, for bloggers). Of course, I won’t be writing exclusively about Scripture, like I did (sort of) this year. I will also write about current events or books I’m reading and such – whatever strikes my fancy, I guess, but all, I trust, to the Glory of God.

If you enjoyed our Inspired reading program through the New Testament this year, and you’re interested in a reading program for the year 2016, you might consider The Discipleship Journal Reading Plan or the M’Cheyne Reading Plan.  However you plan to read the Bible in 2016, consider this thought from the Puritan Thomas Brooks in his book, Precious Remedies Against Satan’s Devices:

“Remember, it is not hasty reading—but serious meditating upon holy and heavenly truths, that make them prove sweet and profitable to the soul. It is not the bee’s touching of the flower, which gathers honey—but her abiding for a time upon the flower, which draws out the sweet. It is not he who reads most—but he who meditates most, who will prove the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian.”

Therefore, if you choose to read the whole Bible this year, then may I urge you to be sure to slow down and meditate on some smaller portion of what you read each day. Draw out “the sweet” and be one, not who reads most, but who meditates most.

Now this blog was about the finish line, and it just so happens that the passage we are reading is also the last chapter in the Bible, and is all about the ultimate finish line, Heaven, and so let me close with the secret to getting there, from Revelation 22:17…

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. (ESV)

That’s it – the message of the Scriptures is that God is Holy, and He demands our holiness too, yet not one of us has been holy. However, we can stand before God with the perfect holiness of Jesus Himself. All we need to do is drink the water of life, and that water is only available by the grace of God. You can’t pay for it, and in fact, if you try to pay for it, a sip of its cool refreshment will be denied you.

So, come, ye who are thirsty, come; and drink deeply.

Happy New Year, everyone!

 

 
17 Comments

Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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17 responses to “The Finish Line

  1. Paul Neevel

    December 31, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Thanks for hanging in there!
    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Roger Knowlton

      December 31, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Thanks for your encouragement, Paul! Blessings on your (and our) ministry to men in 2016!

      Like

       
  2. Tom Castillo

    December 31, 2015 at 6:28 am

    Thank you for the journey together through the New Testament. Your blog has been uplifting, enlightening and (dare I say it) Inspiring. Now you can use the time spent blogging on finishing your book. (Me trying to be encouraging.) May God bless you and your family in the new year and all who read these words. “God bless us everyone.” Tiny Tim (The Charles Dickens one, not the singer.)

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Roger Knowlton

      December 31, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Thanks Tom! What I need is some sort of similar social pressure to finish the book. I admire authors who do well in this without a daily deadline. Appreciate your prayers!

      Like

       
  3. Aggie Vande Zande

    December 31, 2015 at 6:34 am

    May God bless you for a truly “inspiring” walk through God’s Word. Have a blessed and rewarding 2016.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  4. Kenneth Medema

    December 31, 2015 at 7:27 am

    Thanks my brother it has been an inspiring journey God has used you to help me press on to finish line so looking forward to that day!!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Roger Knowlton

      December 31, 2015 at 9:45 am

      Thank you my friend! You are a great blessing to me!

      Like

       
  5. Linda

    December 31, 2015 at 7:54 am

    Thank you Roger for the inspiration you have shared this year through the NT. Jim and I will look forward to your blog each week. Thank you!

    Like

     
  6. Denice Braaksma

    December 31, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Thanks! It truly was a blessing to us!

    Like

     
  7. JoAnn Karls

    December 31, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I may not have commented much but I’ve read much. Thank you for your 2015 thoughts. Looking forward to Tuesdays. Reminds me of the book “Tuesdays with Morrie” not it’ll be “Tuesdays with Rodger” Happy New year to you, Diane and the family—–You are Loved

    Liked by 1 person

     
  8. Wenda Lehman

    December 31, 2015 at 10:25 am

    Truly Thank You as undershepherd of Edgewood, for guiding your entrusted flock, through the New Testament with such faithfulness and by use of your writing giftedness. You are a precious cheerleader for Jesus!

    For me personally, this one chapter a day, was so powerful. Not that our teacher, the Holy Spirit, didn’t cause meditation on single verses through reading multiple chapter reading. HE is ever faithful to renew the mind. But your direction on taking the time to meditate, I have found makes my time with GOD so much more relational. May you be exponentially blessed, pastor, as you have been a blessing to all.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Roger Knowlton

      December 31, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Thanks so much Wenda! Blessings on you and yours in the New Year!

      Like

       
    • lauramae67

      December 31, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Yeah, what Wenda said:)

      Like

       
  9. lauramae67

    December 31, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    I think I have read most of them & posted them on facebook. So you have many more followers than two ! I shouldn’t be surprised anymore when a daily email meditation or in this case your blog, totally relates to something else I’ve just read or studied (ie Life Group that day), but it happens so often. Thanks for the “coincidences”. Looking fwd to Tuesdays with Roger!

    Like

     

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