December 13, 2015

Truths That Transform: Finishing to God’s glory

Finishing strong is an important theme in Scripture. Among the last words that Paul wrote were these to Timothy during Paul’s second imprisonment in Rome: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8)

Paul had seen strong finishes and not-so-strong finishes. He had been present at Stephen’s stoning (Acts 6-7) and had seen the finish of a life changed by God’s grace and given over to following Jesus. He had seen Stephen’s grace and forgiving spirit even while he was dying, and had determined after his conversion that he wanted to glorify God by life or by death (Philippians 1:19-20), written during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome).

He had also seen what it looked like to not finish strong. He mentions to Timothy (2 Timothy 4:10) that Demas, who had formerly worked with him (Colossians 4:14; Philemon 24) has now deserted him because of love for the world. Imagine the effect this had on one who had suffered and was suffering so much for the Gospel. The way we “finish” – whether we finish well or poorly – affects more than just us.

The strongest finish in history, of course, was Jesus’ finish. He prayed in John 17:4, “I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.” Jesus hadn’t healed every sick Israelite. No doubt there were many who hadn’t ever heard him preach. But the important thing was that he had finished the work that God gave him. And he finished his earthly life with a sacrifice that secured eternal life for his followers through time.

This time of year, our thoughts often turn toward finishing. How are you finishing this year? Have you grown in the ways you believed God was leading you to early in the year? What other “finishings” are in your life right now? Finishing a project? Finishing a job? Finishing a schoolyear? Finishing a relationship or maybe your time living in a particular location? What will your legacy be in the areas that God is bringing to a close in your life? What would it take for you to be able to pray with Jesus, “I have completed the work you gave me to do” in areas that God is bringing to a close in your life?

Good Sense Movement Team
Good Sense Movement
Transforming Finances! Transforming Lives!