“So as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:10-14.
Milan’s Duomo is decidedly the most impressive structure in Milan. This cathedral is the fifth largest Christian church in the world. There are 3,400 statues, 135 gargoyles and 700 figures that decorate Milan Duomo. Thousands of artists, sculptors and specialized workers were involved in the construction of the Cathedral of Milan. It was consecrated in 1418, but took nearly six centuries to build. Most of the people who built this “wonder” never got to see the end, the completion of the cathedral. If they had, they would have a lasting monument to finishing well.
We talked this week about living our lives with the end in mind. Regardless of where we are in the journey, we need to have the end in mind and to finish well. “But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:24) And 2 Timothy 4:7 says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Let’s look at Moses. Deuteronomy 34:10 tells us “There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.”
Moses ended well, although if you researched the life of Moses, you wouldn’t think it would end particularly well. He spent the first 40 years of his life building up a sense of confidence that eventually led him to take things into his own hands by killing an Egyptian. The next 40 years of his life was lived in relative obscurity caring for and tending sheep. And, when the time came, God calls Moses to use him to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.
The last 40 years of Moses were very fruitful. He never slowed down. Deuteronomy 34:7 tells us, “Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever.” He was still energized to serve his God. He finished well.
I want to live my last years sold out to God. I don’t know how many years I have left, nor do I know what my circumstances will be. So I will keep eternity in mind and live for God today in preparation for that end, or the beginning of an eternity with my Savior.
- Up to this point, what has been your finish line?
- Do you believe that starting well affects how you finish? Why or why not?
- Hebrews 12:2 says, “We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” Where are we to keep our eyes focused? Why is this so important?
- What can you do today to set you on a course that will help you finish the race set before you?