“No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:4)
After a good examination of my life of 36 years, I have found that I have been a poor finisher. And even worse, I have in some cases allowed procrastination to stop me from finishing some things altogether. Things left incomplete are not good! This is a part of my testimony that I have come to realize and hate. Today, by the help of the Lord, I plan to fight the good fight – starting with this devotional.
In the three areas that every human and Christian deal with on a daily basis, I hope and pray that my thoughts, my words, and my deeds will be decent, in order, complete, and will glorify God!
First: my thoughts.
In Luke 14:26-35, Jesus talks about one who must sit down and count the cost of being a finisher. To consider something is to give thought about it and what’s involved; to think about the pros and the cons; the good and the bad; your gains and your losses. I have found that, in many instances, events and occurrences in my life have been preceded by thoughts that were only selfish and definitely incomplete, not finished. I had not thought things through first.
Second: my words.
Proverbs 27:5 says, “Open rebuke is better than secret love.” This has been a problem for me, because I have been more afraid of losing friends and possibly making enemies; than being obedient to God and remaining in fellowship with Him. By me not saying that something is offending to men – and thus offending God; I am grieving the Holy Spirit by yielding to the spirit of fear, fear of losing a friend. And God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. So where I have not been “speaking my mind,” as people say I need to, I will do more of. Only because a sound mind knows the full measure of rebuke. This also goes for words of exhortation and edification. Paul instructs Timothy (2 Timothy 4:2):
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.”
Third: my deeds.
There have been a few projects started in my life, which are yet not finished. Or should I say there have been things which I have pursued. I would like to use the excuse of discouragement. But most of my discouragement comes simply from discontentment and procrastination on my part. And these come from the desire to be men-pleasers rather than God-pleasers. Paul encourages us (Colossians 3):
“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” (Colossians 3:17)
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” (Colossians 3:23)
Since I am a man myself, I still struggle with the desire to please this flesh, rather than my Creator. Once again, Paul said it best when he said:
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18)
I must become a finisher!
1 Corinthians 2:16 – I will think it through! I have the mind of Christ!
2 Timothy 4:2 – I will speak my mind! My words are from His Word!
James 1:25 – I will do good deeds! Jesus will finish what He began!