We must develop a spiritual compass (God’s Word) by which we can monitor our life’s direction and finish well
Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
2 Timothy 4:6-8 …the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Also 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Philippians 1:21-28, 3:7-14; 1 Timothy 1:18-19
1. There are many examples of people who did and did not finish well in Scripture. Some did not finish well with one decision (Judas) and others with small unchecked decisions throughout their lives
- 1 Timothy 1:18-19 …concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck,..
2. At the end of Daniel’s life in Daniel 6 we see his determination, even in the face of the lion’s den, to finish well. This determination was not developed overnight. In Daniel 1, he determined not defile himself with the King’s food. This Biblical convictions carried him successfully through turbulent times in his life. We, too, can finish well by developing disciplines that enable us to finish well. This is a challenge, no matter how old or young we may be.
A FEW SCRIPTURES TO STUDY
2 Peter 3:10-13 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.
Matthew 24:36-51; 1Thessalonians 4:13-18; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4
HOW DO I FINISH WELL
It begins with decisions we make today and carries into tomorrow. Here are a few of the main characteristics we can learn from those who finished well in the Bible.
1. They had a deeply personal relationship with God and continued to look to Jesus their entire life. (The word “looking” is the Greek word meaning to look away – living for Jesus without distraction.)
- Hebrews 12:1-2 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Philippians 3:8-13 …that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead…
2. They had a focus, a prophetic vision, and purpose for living and trusted God to bring that purpose into being
- Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint;…
- Jeremiah 1:4-5
- Matthew 4:18-22
- Acts 9:15-16
3. They viewed & handled life from perspective of God’s Word. They believed that all things work for the good with God’s people and that He would deliver them out of every circumstance
- Psalm 18:1-3 I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.
- Daniel 3:19-30
- Romans 8:28
4. They acknowledged their own weaknesses to God and maintained victory over their own sin.
- Psalm 51:1-12 Have mercy upon me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of Your tender mercies, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me… Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me…
5. They had people in their lives who would tell them the truth and were able to speak into their lives. And, they were teachable, humble & obedient
- Jethro & Moses in Exodus 18
- David & Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:1-14
OUR PRAYER FOR YOU…
Our prayer is that you will take the issue of finishing well seriously.
First, one must be born again to finish well. Ask Jesus Christ to come into your life, forgive you and wash you of all your sins. Ask Him to fill you with His Spirit and to make you into a dedicated follower, and thank Him for eternal life!
- John 3:3-17 “…unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again…
A prayer of salvation, prayed from heart to God…
Heavenly Father, I am a sinner and I’ve broken God’s Law. I confess and turn from my sins and I ask Your forgiveness. Jesus, I believe you died on the cross and took my place in judgment. I believe that You rose from the grave and that You sit at God’s right hand in Heaven. Come into my heart, fill me with Your Holy Spirit’s power and change me into the person that You want me to be. I accept You as my Lord and my Savior. And thank You for giving me eternal life! Amen.
Now serve Him wholeheartedly in whatever you. We will one day stand before the Throne of God and give an account of our lives (Romans 14;12). May the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant” be spoken as you enter glory.
- Matthew 25:14-30 …His lord said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.”…
- Hebrews 9:27-28 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.