"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'" Luke 14:28-30
To finish well is to plan well; to plan well is to understand the cost of commitment. The commitment to follow Christ is not an added luxury but standard equipment for the Christian. To plan to finish well is to plan to follow Christ daily in humility and sacrifice. To finish well tomorrow means you finish well today. Finishing well does not imply a perfect life, but it does require a submitted life. This is a life that is under the authority of Jesus Christ; so finishing well is all about the life of a committed disciple of Christ. You can start the Christian life ablaze with the fire of your salvation, fresh and contagious for Christ.
However, if the fuel of understanding and applying God's Word is not added to your initial enthusiasm, you will burn out. You will not finish well. People may even observe, "I thought you were a Christian. Didn't you used to attend church?" Finishing well is about joining with God to accomplish His will. Thus, finishing well is a building process. It is daily discerning God's best, and then following Him wholeheartedly. Finishing well is a process that over time begins to take shape. Your faithfulness gives you credibility to invest in others what you have learned. You share with them what works and what doesn't work, out of brokenness. You are more likely to finish well when you are pouring yourself into others, as it provides accountability.
Now you may have sons-in-law who are looking to you for leadership. You are one of their role models. Don't take this lightly. Your children and grandchildren will greatly benefit from your finishing well. It is imperative to pace yourself by God's grace; so stay in the race until you make it to heaven. Spectators are not needed for this life, only for the life to come. Finish well by becoming wiser today than you were yesterday. Love and forgive more today than you have in the past. This is the essence of finishing well. It is becoming more like Jesus in your attitude and actions. This race of righteousness sweats out our sinful acts. Unrighteous anger is replaced by patience. Fear is replaced by trust. Pride is replaced by humility, and addictions are replaced by love. Be encouraged. If you are growing in Christ and building a life of obedience, you are finishing well.
Lastly, you can finish well in spite of a soiled track record. God loves to take your false starts or your backsliding ways and place you on the road to finishing well. Stop today, turn from yourself, and turn to Christ. It is never too late to finish well. The wreckage from your past may still haunt you at times. But forget what is behind, pressing forward for the higher calling in Christ. He is your new reason for living. He is your life. He propels you forward to finish well. For His sake you will finish well, for your family's sake you will finish well, for the sake of others you will finish well. By God's grace, plan to finish well, and you will.
The Bible says, "After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before" (Job 42:10).
Taken from the November 2nd reading in the 365-day devotional book, "Seeking Daily the Heart of God" volume 1... http://bit.ly/Tv6y9a
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