Summary: Are you going to finish well?
FINISH WELL, FINISH STRONG!
JESUS THE GREAT FINISHER
Jesus was and is the greatest finisher the world has ever seen or will see. To the very end despite incredible pressure and stress some of his last words were “it is finished.” Why was Jesus such a great finisher?
He never lost sight of his finish line. His finish line was Gods will thus his infamous words in the midst of his greatest difficulty; not my will but yours be done. What’s our finish line? Some may say it’s heaven.
I don’t think so. I believe that our finish line is Jesus for if Jesus was not in heaven would you want to go? No. Wherever Jesus is that’s where we want to be. Jesus is our finish line. Consider the following scripture.
Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Jesus is whom we need to fix our eyes upon. He is whom we need to imitate in the midst of our race. He’s our example in attitude, how to handle our emotions, how to deal with our thoughts. He teaches us how to keep giving, keep denying, keep sacrificing and how to stay focused up to the very end.
We are in a race and for each of us a line has been marked for us. If you’re going to cross the line you must:
RUN WITH PERSEVERANCE
Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.
The Christian walk is not a sprint but a marathon and in a marathon the last mile is the toughest. Why? A few lessons I learned from running my first marathon.
After I crossed mile marker 20 all of the hype and excitement were long gone.
Most of the people in my case were long gone. (I was one of the last ones to finish).
Not much glory in it for me (I didn’t do it in any respectable time; I just finished).
It wasn’t fun anymore. Because of that and this is where it gets dangerous emotionally I just wanted it to be over.
I was tired, exhausted, my legs were heavy and running was a burden. All I could think of at the end was I just want it be over; the pain, suffering was intense for me. I didn’t care about anything except getting it done.
Did I finish well? I think for me I did.
Did I finish strong? I finished stronger than I would have because something happened at the end. In the distance I saw the clock. It said about 5:45, I thought oh no I’ve got to end before six hours. So I started pushing and ended at 5:52. I had been running for almost six hours, but the important thing is that I crossed the line. All the pain, suffering was worth it because I became something I wasn’t a marathoner. When we cross the line we become something that we are not.
All the trials, all the testing develops something. What God is working on is our ability to persevere. Perseverance must finish its work. Persevance has a job to do and it must finish. It’s just not able to finish with everyone because not everyone continues.
James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, James 1:3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. James 1:4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, to persevere means to persist. And persist means to continue in a state or action in spite of obstacles or objections.
Each of us in our walk with God is in a race and God is working to produce something in us. Each of us must look at our lives and ask; What is God working on in my life? What does he want me to persevere in? What do I need to do to finish well? How can I be like Jesus Christ so I will finish well and finish strong in this area of my life.
NOT ALL FINISH WELL
Dr. J. Robert Clinton, professor at Fuller Seminary did a study of male leadership in the Bible and determined that only 30% of them finished well. Wow! The odds are against us!! Consider also this next example.