August 12, 2015 • By Ed Wrather
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. - Genesis 1:1 NKJV.
And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish’? - Luke 14:27-30 NKJV.
There are many weeds that have sprung up on our property since the drought has ended. In the ten years since I have taken over the care of the grounds around this home from my father, there has not been anything like this. I look at all of the weeds and grass, and I think of it as being a jungle. How am I ever going to tame this jungle? Where do I even begin? I did arrive at a conclusion yesterday that it really does not matter so much as to where I begin, as it does that I actually begin cutting down the jungle. So, I mowed as much as I could, and then got out my 4-cycle weed wacker and began to cut down the jungle. It still looks like an almost impossible task, but since I have actually started do something about it, I think it may just be possible to tame my jungle. Beginning the work has made the impossible appear to be possible.
Beginnings are important. God made a beginning as we read in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Now Jesus does warn about counting the cost of building a tower before beginning to build, and of the cost of following Him. However, if a person who wants to build a tower does not begin, it will never be built. Also, if a person does not actually begin to follow Jesus, the spiritual journey will never begin.
Most of us have had many beginnings in our lives. We were born. We began to attend school, we began our careers, we began our married life (for many of us), and we may have begun a business venture or countless other things.
Spiritually, there are beginnings. The first step spiritually is to be “born again” as Jesus says in John 3:3. Once we know Jesus as our Savior having been born again, we need to take up our cross and follow Him. In the following of Jesus there are many beginnings. I remember the first time I memorized Scripture in a Vacation Bible School one summer. I remember beginning to pray, not just every so often, but faithfully every day. I remember making a commitment that I was going to attend church faithfully whenever it was possible for me to do so whether my family went with me or not. I remember making a commitment to read God's Word and to memorize it. I remember how God called me to ministry and how there was a beginning that went beyond knowing to actually making public in a church that God had called me. I remember beginning to preach, that first time. I remember selling our home and moving into a parsonage as we began our lives in ministry. There was a beginning as I began to send out devotionals by email. There was a beginning as I created a website and began to post the devotionals there. Many beginnings....
At some point, we need to begin in the Christian life. At some point, we need to actually pick up our cross and follow Jesus.