Meridian Star

January 4, 2014

The Christmas gift

By Ron Wood / guest columnist
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — Here's a question for you. Now that AD 2013 has ended: Do you think it is complete or is it finished?

    Dictionaries have difficulty explaining the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED. However, in a linguistic conference held in London attended by some of the best language experts in the world, a scholar from Guyana was the clear winner.

    His final challenge was this: Some say there is no difference between

COMPLETE and FINISHED. Please explain the difference between COMPLETE and FINISHED in a way that is easy to understand.

    Here was his astute answer: "When you marry the right woman, you are

COMPLETE. But, when you marry the wrong woman, you are FINISHED. And

when the right one catches you with the wrong one, you are COMPLETELY FINISHED!" His answer was received with a standing ovation!

    Words do matter. They are important, especially in contract law. I love all thing linguistic. In high school, I actually took four years of Latin classes. Latin is the original source of many common words.

    For example, the initials AD are an abbreviation for Anno Domini, which means "in the year of our Lord."

    Spiritual words matter even more. When Christ had suffered on the cross, He cried out "It is finished!" The Greek word for finished means to bring to an end, accomplish, be fully done, not to be repeated. But that doesn't mean everything is yet done, for we who are God's people on earth need to be made complete: as in being equipped, prepared, fully trained so as to be like Jesus, and that work in us never ends.

    The Holy Bible uses words inspired by the Holy Spirit to convey precise meaning. If the Bible reveals God's covenant with mankind, then we ought to know what it contains. What are the conditions? What are its terms? Who does it apply to? I encourage everyone to take the Word of God seriously. Read the Bible for yourself. Use a modern translation so it is more relevant. Pray yourself into the scriptures. Memorize meaningful verses. Don't be left out of God's good promises by remaining ignorant of them.

    Here's another word to consider: CONSECRATE. It is a conditional term

that often applies to new seasons of opportunity set before us by God. It just so happens that commentator Glenn Beck has an excellent post on this topic, so I will quote him.

    "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow The Lord will do wonders among you." (The Hoy Bible, The Book of Joshua, chapter 3, verse 5, NAS version)

    Glenn writes, "To consecrate means to set yourself apart from evil and prepare to be used by God. It’s a spiritual cleansing of all the junk in your life. Once you do this, it opens the door for God to draw closer to you and work wonders. When Joshua said this to the Israelites, they were camped near the Jordan River a night away from entering the promised land. He didn't tell them to sharpen their swords, do extra push-ups, or whatever else ancient warriors did before battle. No, he asked them to consecrate themselves. They did just that  – and God halted the waters of the Jordan and led the Israelites to victory in Canaan."

    Amazing idea: get ready for victory in a new season by getting right with God! (Read again what consecration requires.) The point is, good character and godly behavior will pave the way for God to go with you. Having FAVOR even beats FICO as far as qualifying to receive God's spiritual and material blessings in the New Year.

    Ron Wood pastors Trinity Assembly of God located at State Blvd Extension and Chandler Road. (601) 483-8189. Hear Ron on the Father's Power each Sunday at 8 a.m. or 7 p.m. on SuperTalk radio 103.3 FM.