This Sunday I conclude the BECAUSE HE IS series. Each of the six instalments of this series has dealt with a truth about God. My hope throughout the series so far has been that I might introduce those unfamiliar or less acquainted with God to experience a richer, deeper and more intimate knowledge of Him. My motive for doing this has been to lead someone who had never loved God to come to gladly love Him — and for those who were in like of God to become besotted with their love for God. I have repeatedly said throughout this series so far that I have not wanted this to be merely a series of lectures or just interesting information for your fancy. (Added to this, I have confessed that Kim has forbidden me from lecturing this series!) But now, as I prepare to conclude this series this Sunday, I want to give you some of the theological background behind what I consider to be one of the most important series of sermons I have delivered.
If there was a ’Year Book‘ for Christ’s Twelve Disciples, which one would have been voted “Most likely to succeed”? Probably Judas Iscariot would have. I doubt that Simon Peter would have received any votes. After all, he had failed and goofed up so many times! But in the end, both men failed in similar ways yet only Peter ‘failed well‘. How he did it should give those of us who regularly fail — and all too often feel like failures — hope that God is able to redeem both us and our failures.
Finishing is quite different to ending. Novelists have the privilege of finishing their literary creations before they write those two delightful words, The End. Life, however, doesn’t always afford the same privilege. Too many lives end rather than finish. But the apostle Paul was among the privileged few. He last epistle was written to Timothy in which he could confidently state, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (Second Timothy 4:7). Although Paul’s life had a brutal ending, his life didn’t end — it finished. Moses, on the other hand finished before he finished.