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ImagePete and Gladys were looking at a new living room suite in the furniture store. Pete said to the salesman, "We really like it, but I don't think we can afford it."

The salesman said, "You just make a small down payment ..... then you don't make another payment for six months."

Gladys wheeled around with her hands on her hips and said, "Who told you about us?"

Like Pete and Gladys, we all find it much easier to start a task than to see it through to completion, especially a difficult task. If school gets tough, we're tempted to drop out. And we've all started diets and programs of regular Bible reading; starting is the easy part, sticking with them is the hard part.

It shouldn't be surprising that what we find so difficult in so many areas of our lives should also be difficult in our Christian walk. We're tempted to simply quit. That's why there are so many words of encouragement to hang in there when things get tough.

"For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end." (Hebrews 3:14).

Don't just "make the first payment." Remain steadfast to the very end!

~Alan Smith