The word this week is 'FINISH'.
It is the theme for Falls Creek, 2018.
'Finish' is an important word; one that every believer should embrace with heartfelt conviction. 'Finish' lends the idea of completing what was started. That's important because the prize comes at the 'finish', not at the start and not half way through the race.
Paul used this word in 2 Timothy 4:7 when he said under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, "I have fought the good fight, I have 'finished' the race, I have kept the faith."
Paul not only 'finished' the race, he 'finished' strong. The Apostle Paul was more dependent on the Lord in his final days on this earth than when he began his journey years before. His life is an example to us, one he lived in the supply of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
'Finishing' is not something many Christians seem all that concerned about today. And 'finishing' well is seldom emphasized, at least in matters of a spiritual nature. A growing number who begin the race with passionate fervor too soon fade into the shadows of the first rest area they come across on the trail. And that's not said because rest areas are bad. In fact, they are necessary because every believer needs to pace themselves in this marathon of life called discipleship. It's when the rest area becomes a camp to dwell in that problems arise.
In the words of Max Lucado, for far too many modern day Christians, "their best work was their first work and they will finish with a whimper."
If only the ear would listen to the word of God that speaks-- "For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised." Hebrews 10:36
The sad reality in far too many churches is that over the years, many Christians simply get 'use to' camping in the rest area because it's easier or even because a growing number of people are there doing the same thing. But is it better? Is it best?
For some it's been months and for others it's been years since they were fully engaged in kingdom work with a driving passion to please God. For others, it's been only a couple of weeks or months.
No doubt all of us know someone who grew weary in the race and decided to set up camp at the nearest roadside rest area. I trust you're not one of them. If so, then ask God to renew your first love passion for Him. Permit God to help you return to the straight and narrow way that leads to life! Focus your eyes on Jesus, the author and 'finisher' of our faith and learn to walk in step with Him daily along the journey; a journey that is often difficult and demanding.
God knew that this would be an issue for His people so He inspired a man named Paul, a man who endured much more than most to pen these words; "but as for you, do not grow weary in doing good." 2 Thessalonians 3:13
In other words--Don't faint as you follow Christ. Don't lose heart for He will supply all we need to follow His will and 'finish' well!
As you and I journey with Jesus, we should take full advantage of His encouragement daily. He offers that freely! He promises to provide!
As the disciple of Christ is filled with the Spirit, he/she will be fueled by the Spirit to accomplish the purpose God designs for them. There's a prize for those who 'finish' well. I pray you are pursuing the upward call of God in Christ.
In Philippians 1:6, we find this treasure of scripture. This truth is for our encouragement as well as our instruction--"being confident of this very thing, that He (Jesus) who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
How will you complete the course of being conformed to Christ? Weary or well?
Will you lean in with all you've got or will you limp in with what little you have left?
The race will be 'finished' for some before it is 'finished' for others. That is not ours to determine.
What is ours to determine is this--
Will your last work be your best work OR will it be the first thing you did, a long, long time ago?
Claim His promise in the process of progress toward completion and 'finish' strong!
A great place to start is where you're at and the best time is now; today.
1 Corinthians 15:58