America lost an icon last week with the passing of Paul Harvey. His distinctive voice, unique slants on the day’s news, and most of all, “The Rest of the Story,” were legendary.
Every day listeners were treated to intriguing, little-known stories about people, both "Who's Who" and "Who's He?" types. We listened intently to hear the unexpected twist at the end of each account. These narratives will be missed – as will his signature close, “Paul Harvey…Good day!”
As a follower of Jesus Christ, my studies and meditations have shown me that in a similar way, Christianity also offers a “rest of the story.”
Those who call themselves Christians understand Jesus by His crucifixion and resurrection offers forgiveness and salvation, promising life after death. I think equally important, but too often overlooked, is the life He offers BEFORE death.
Trying to fulfill the standards God presents in the Scriptures seems like “mission: impossible.” Humanly speaking, it is. Again and again, however, the Bible asserts God does not expect us to do it on our own.
For instance, we are told, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 2:5:17). Similarly, every believer is assured, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
Jesus told His followers, “apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). At the same time we are told, “I can do all things through Christ” (Philippians 4:13). Many other passages make similar assertions.
This underlies the essential difference between Christianity and the world’s religions: As someone much wiser than me has said, religion is mankind’s best effort to reach God; Christianity is God’s best effort to reach mankind.
When God commands, “be holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16), He does not ask the impossible. As we appropriate the life and power of Christ available to every believer through His Spirit, we can become transformed and experience the reality of walking “in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
And THAT’S the rest of the story!