Marriage and Family: Finishing WellJuly 30, 2012
Last night I (Dale) spoke to a group of men who just finished piloting my upcoming training guide for men. The feedback was awesome. I loved hearing their stories of transformation and the deep work of God in their lives. It was an awesome night complete with "man food." I thought I would share with you the four things I shared with them that we all need to have in our lives if we are going to "FINISH WELL" spiritually. I would also love to hear your thoughts about what you think are some tangible ways to "finish well" spiritually.
The basis for my challenge to the men last night was from Paul's charge to Timothy from 2 Timothy 3:8 - 4:10. As Paul passes the baton of leadership to Timothy, he reminds him that in order to finish well, he will need to:
1. Never forget your citizenship. In other words, never forget who you represent. In view of your citizenship in heaven, live your life worthy of this citizenship. This is why I tell men all the time....who you are determine what you do! If you want to finish well, make sure you represent Christ in all that you do. To do so remember the mostly Godly thing you can do is to daily simply "make a Godly choice!"
2. Live under the authority of God's Word. Paul reminds Timothy to preach the Word of God - in season and out! The truth is that in order to do so, you have to live your life under the authority of God's word. If you want to finish well, you will live your life in view of God's Word and study it, spend time in it, live like the profit Jeremiah and feast upon it (Jeremiah 15:16)! The Word of God is our foundation for finishing well. That's why one of the best ways I know to apply this truth is by asking myself all the time: What Does God's Word say about it?
3. Fight against the culture. What I mean by this is to embrace holiness. There is an entire system operating around you that is against your holiness. In order to finish well, you must see the way this world operates as an assault against you finishing well spiritually. Have some boundaries, live out of your convictions, be a person of moral excellence, love, compassion, humilty and self-control. See your journey as the great story of God being written upon your life and join HIM in the process of perfecting you and growing you in Christlikeness.
4. Live with an eternal perspective. It always helps me to remind myself that this is not my final home. There is so much more to my life and will be forever than just the here and now. The more I live with an eternal perspective, the more my here and now gets back into balance. Paul charged Timothy to leave nothing undone. He even says of his own journey: "I've fought the good fight (the only fight worth fighting), I have finished the race, I have kept the faith!"
How about you: Are you committed to finishing well? Are you living out your citizenship as a follower of Christ? Are you living under the authority of God's Word? Are you fighting against the culture that is undermining your holiness? aAnd are you living with an eternal purpose?
I would love to hear what you think about other ways to finish well.
In the meantime...like Jena and I always say? "what cha gonna do about it?"
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Deion On Tuesday, July 07 at 3:51 AM
Love this ... and one of the things that helps me finish well is to make sure I am surrounding myself in Christian community. This over the years has been a huge part of my growing in Christ.
Deaphalis On Monday, September 09 at 11:58 AM
I believe exactly what you said about finishing well. The life we choose to live will end one day on this earth and it's a tragedy to get to the end and look back and regret what we could have done.