3 Steps To Finish Strong

So I started off the month of January with a bang! I was refreshed from having 9 out of 14 days off over the holidays and it showed in my blogging! I posted something 19 straight days to start the month and I was rolling! I had my highest viewed month by day 15 and I was feeling awesome!

Then life hit me. I got tired from work, church and regular family duties. I was a little stressed over different things going on. The last 12 days of the month I only posted 3 times. I felt bad but I was mentally tired.

I was thinking about this and how the old saying goes, “It isn’t about how you start, it’s about how you finish.” I started the month strong and running and then I finished it weak and crawling.

I think of Paul, probably one of the greatest Christians to walk the face of the earth, had a strong finish! His beginning wasn’t strong, he killed Christians for a living. He also described himself as the chiefest of sinners. I believe that when Paul went by Saul, he was the best at doing what he did, killing Christians. He always got his man. He worked hard at his craft and was diligent in what he did. When he got saved, he did the same exact thing he did when he was unsaved. Instead of killing Christians though, he led them to Christ. He always went where the Lord told him to go. Paul was diligent and hardworking in his service towards Christ.

Can you imagine what Paul could have accomplished if his whole life was spent serving Christ? How much he could have done if he didn’t waste those years killing Christians.

Yes, I believe that how you finish is important, but how you start is important also.

These kids that grow up in a Christian home, attend a Christian school, go to church throughout their childhood, these are the kids that have a strong start, yet we see many fail and fall out during the race of life. Their start in life was strong, but somewhere along the track of life, they fell down or fell out of the race.

If you feel like you have reached a point in the race of life where you don’t know how to finish and you are ready to give up, don’t! You can do it! You can make it through this hard time! Just don’t stop going forward in life!

Paul gives us his plan to finish strong in II Timothy 4:5-7.

“But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I kept the faith:”

In his last letter of instruction to Timothy, he left him some final thoughts on how to finish strong, like he had.

Look ahead! “But watch thou in all things…” You will never finish the race if you aren’t paying attention to where you should go. Hebrews 12:1 tells us to look to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. If we aren’t paying attention, if we aren’t looking ahead, if we aren’t watching out for obstacles, we will not finish the face, we will not finish strong. Look ahead to the goal! Look ahead to the will of God for your life. Don’t let others distract you from finishing. Don’t let the world detour you from finishing! Don’t let Satan defeat you from finishing! “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Where you look determines your direction! Make sure you continually and constantly are looking ahead and you will have an opportunity to finish strong!

Lean on Christ! “…endure afflictions,…” In this race of life, we will be faced with afflictions, trials, and hardships. There will be times that we just want to quit and give up. It is in these moments that we learn to endure and the best way to endure tough times in the Christian life is lean on Christ! “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Psalms 23:4 No matter the situation, we have nothing to fear in life if we are walking with Christ. He is there for us to lean on and He will comfort us. You will never make it in the race of life if you try to go at it all by yourself, you need to lean on Christ, especially when you are going through the hard times!

Labour fervently! “…do the work of an evangelist,…” When I think of the ministry of evangelist, I think of someone who is constantly traveling, preaching, soul winning and laboring wherever they go. We not be in the actual position of an evangelist, but we can be an evangelist in our own town. Wherever we go we can labor, we can tell others about the Gospel. Being a witness for Christ is the best job that anyone of us can do. As we run this race of life, we need to tell others about the Good News of Jesus Christ and get them to join the race with us! If you are focused on being a witness, you won’t be focused on the troubles and trials that come along and you won’t be tempted to quit!

He ends vs. 5 with the statement, “…make full proof of thy ministry.” That phrase ‘full proof’ is interesting. Full means not lacking or omitting anything, complete. Proof means the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact; the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning. To put it simply, full proof means to be complete in what you know. We need to be full proof in our ministry. We need to know WHO we serve, WHY we serve and WHERE to serve. If we are complete in our knowledge about serving Christ, because He saved us, wherever we are, we will be well on our way to finishing strong.

My goal this month is to not only start strong, but to finish strong. I already know I am going to have some long days but if look ahead at my goals, lean on Christ when it gets tough, and continue to labour fervently! I know I can finish this month strong!

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