Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 2 Corinthians 8:11
During my freshman year in college, I joined the track team. I had good sprinting speed because I had been playing soccer all my life. During the last track meet for the season, I decided not to run the final race because the other runners were from Division 1 schools and much faster. My coach was incensed at the decision and decided to sit me down for every other event in the tournament. The coach wanted me to understand that I needed to finish what I started.
Many people are walking away from family, relationships, career, ministry, or their relationship with God because they do not want to finish what they started. As we go through a new year, we should be determined to finish whatever we started. It is easy to quit and walk away from things we’ve started. Unfortunately, I have done too much of that in my lifetime.
In today’s text, Paul encourages the Corinthian saints to finish the work they’ve started with the same eagerness they had when they started the work. This is sound advice for the Church today. We should not become lackadaisical in our service to God. We should maintain the same passion we had when we first gave our lives to the Lord.
I love the passion and enthusiasm of new believers. Most new believers tend to be the best evangelists because they are passionate about their salvation through Christ Jesus. They do not mind sharing their testimony with others. New believers would scarcely miss a church meeting, prayer service, or Bible study because they are eager to grow spiritually. But after a while, many new believers become lukewarm. Some even go astray and forsake the faith altogether.
We should ask the Holy Spirit to fan the flame of our love for Jesus Christ daily. Indeed, true disciples of Jesus Christ should learn to fall in love with him all over every day. And whatever ministry we set out to do, we should stay faithful to the end. We should not allow criticisms, other people’s attitudes, persecution, hardships, or demonic attacks to keep us from finishing what God has purposed for us to do with the joy of the Lord.
Unfortunately, too many Christians are serving in ministry with resentment and bitterness. They’ve allowed their passion for getting involved in a particular ministry to be poisoned by the ungodliness of others. Thus, so many people are quitting ministry with disgust and discontent.
My encouragement to you this morning is to remember your first love. Remember why you gave your life to Christ in the first place and how that decision has transformed your life. When feeling jaded because of your experience in ministry, remember how Jesus stayed on that cross and died for you and me.
So, husbands and wives, pray that you will not lose your passion for one another. Finish what you started with the same eager willingness you had when you started dating. Those in a leadership role in ministry should cultivate the same eager willingness throughout no matter how discouraged they may feel. If you feel tempted to give up on your relationship with Christ and forsake the Christian faith, remember how you felt when you first gave your life to the Lord. Finish what you started with eager willingness!
Life Application Questions?
What area of your life do you need the Holy Spirit to help you finish what you started with eager willingness?
Who do you know needs a word of encouragement so they can finish what they started with eager willingness?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I pray for all those who are losing their spiritual fire for you and for the work of ministry. I also pray for husbands and wives who are contemplating separation or divorce. Fan the flame of your love in our hearts so we can cultivate an eager willingness to finish what we started.