Thursday, November 9, 2017

Finish Well - Martin Wiles

He had loved his disciples during his ministry on earth, and now he loved them to the very end. John 13:1 NLT
I knew I was leaving, but I had a job to do.
Working in a textile mill wasn’t on my list of places to work when I moved to Greenwood, South Carolina. Greenwood was a textile city with mills scattered all over the town and in surrounding towns. I ended up where I didn’t want to work and, for the next three years, endured the noise, dust, and aggravation of running looms in the weave room.
Then a layoff and call-back placed me in another department. Within a few months, I was promoted to third shift overseer. I was also hearing God’s call into full-time ministry, which meant leaving for college. I was excited about the venture ahead—and about leaving the job I disliked. But my parents had instilled in me a strict work ethic, so I finished well by doing my best until the last minute I was on the clock.
Jesus did too. The Father gave Him a job which involved coming to a sin-cursed world, demonstrating how God wanted people to live, inviting people to trust Him as Savior and receive His forgiveness, and finally dying on a cross for the world’s sins. Though He felt fear and anxiety over how His life would end—even asking the Father if they could do it some other way, He finished well by obeying the Father’s plan. As His followers, Jesus wants us to finish well the work He has left us: loving, sharing, and serving others in His name until the end of our lives or until He returns.
Finishing well involves doing the right thing. Doing the right thing isn’t always easy—but it’s the definition of integrity and manifests itself in a person of character. I can finish my task well when others are looking or if it’s a part of my job description, but integrity means finishing well when no one is looking. Just because it’s the right thing to do.
Finishing well also entails perseverance. Persevering is sometimes complicated. It takes energy I don’t seem to have, wisdom I don’t appear to possess, courage I can’t seem to muster, and obedience I sometimes don’t want to give. God, however, can provide all of this and more so I can move ahead to the finish line.
Don’t stop short of doing your best for God. Trust Him to help you finish well.

Prayer: Father, give us the grace, courage, faith, and stamina to finish well for You. 

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