Finishing Well

It is Finished

After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
–John 19:28-30

On Finishing Well

I want to explore with you the traits of one who finishes well reflecting on Jesus’ words: “It is finished.”

Don Sweating, the new president of Reform Theological Seminary has a pastor’s heart. His dad is also a pastor like he is only his father is in his 80s. Don went to him and said, “Dad, I want you to write a book.” His dad said, “Oh, I’ve written books.”

Don said, “No, you need to write another book”. His dad had written two books already. One was how to begin the Christian life. The second book, how to continue in the Christian life.

Don said, “Dad, you need to write a third book, finish the trilogy: How to finish the Christian life.” Don’s father said: “Well, I already wrote a book on the joy of getting older,” and Don said, “No, that’s not it. It’s a little too self-help.

Dad, you need to finish the trilogy, “How to finish the Christian life.” Don’s father said: “Well, I don’t even have a computer to do any of that and I don’t know how to use them, but I’ll do it.” So they wrote it together, a great little book, called Finishing the Christian Life.”

Americans are not finishers anymore. We used to be. We used to be very strong finishers. We would finish everything that we started. In these last decades even, we don’t finish well. We don’t finish well like we used to and it’s the great generations that understand how to start things and finish them.

Many of us have a multiple projects that we have started and they just keep growing in numbers, projects that we’ve started that is. But, do we finish them? In Jesus, we see a driving intensity. In Luke’s Gospel we read an interesting verse about the resolve of our Lord:

When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. –Luke 9:51

Jesus is a person of steel and backbone. He would go to the Cross and complete the work that God had given Him to do. He had a determination to do it. If we are to be a person who finishes, we must be like the Energizer bunny. We just keep going and going and going.

The Apostle James calls it “steadfastness”:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. –James 1:2-4

How do you see the traits of a steadfast finisher in your life? Are you “lacking” anything?