The idiom “don’t judge a book by it’s cover” was first recorded in June 1867 in the newspaper Piqua Democrat. The original context read “Don’t judge a book by its cover, see a man by his cloth, as there is often a good deal of solid worth and superior skill underneath a jacket and yaller pants.” According to the apostle Paul, each life is like an open book, ready to fulfill what God has authored for your future. Yet, a lack of faith causes many to fail to complete all that God has prepared for you.
For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live], Ephesians 2:10.
Belief, confidence and faith are crucial ingredients to finishing God’s will for your life, Romans 12:2. Yet, when hope is dashed, shaken or lost, that which was predestined fades away from your dreams. Instead of waking up with eager expectations, defeated souls wrestle to be optimistic. Meanwhile, the concept of seizing the moment is not exercised, put on hold until faith returns. Like a struggling Major League bull pen, you need to find a reliable closer who can finish the game called life.
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God, Hebrews 12:1-2.
The author of Hebrews uses strong words to highlight that role that God plays in life. According to the passage above, Jesus writes and finishes what He began. Just as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, no one takes a direct route from point A to point B. Instead days, weeks, months and years are wasted as individuals exercise their free will. There is a little bit of the prodigal son inside everyone as disobedience delays what God has planned for you and me. If you’re tired of living a mediocre life, it’s time to yield the reigns to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
by Jay Mankus