[Papercut Press Publishing] 1998-09-01 - First Things First

"A lot of times Christianity is seen as an insurance policy, you need it when you die."

This is a sad truth. In fact, it is not uncommon for people to say, especially young people, "I'll repent/come to Christ, when I am old and therefore I can have fun in this life and still make it to heaven." What betrays such a logic is that while death bed confessions are often talked about, they are rarely seen. And while faith in the propitiatory atonement of Christ is the best fire insurance policy we could ever dream up, waiting to come to faith in Christ is one of the surest indications that, 'he who hesitates', is not only lost, but also a fool.

There is no denying that faith in the merits of the work of Christ is something you need when you die, but it is also much more. You and I both need it to live! Today starts a new month. I always look at firsts as new chances to start again. Over the years September 1 has been a day when a lot of new things have happened.

I have had a lot of chances to start over again an live more faithfully the faith that I profess in Christ. If you need a first today or a fresh start take September 1, 1998 as your day. Here are some September 1 firsts:

On September 1: 1821 The Santa Fe Trail opened 1836 The first American settlement in Oregon Territory was established 1859 The first sleeping car made its first run 1869 The Prohibition Party was formed 1931 The first anthropology laboratory in the United States is opened 1969 The Libyan Arab Republic is proclaimed by Muammar el-Qaddafi 1972 The first American world chess champion: Bobby Fischer

As I said above faith in Christ is a great fire insurance policy, but it is much more. It is a relationship with our Creator who has now become our friend. Today starts a new month. If you need a new start, take it today.

A lot of times it is hard to know how to make a fresh start when it comes to a devotional life. I would say start with reading two chapters of the Bible a day and spending a little time in prayer. Start with the gospel of John and the book of Galatians and just set a simple goal of doing one chapter of each a day. Try to make it to the book of Revelation and if you do, the habit will be established.

When you pray, write down what you are praying about. This will give you a reference point for the next day. Start small and work toward