Friday, August 3, 2007

I Want to Finish Well

Reading 2 Chronicles these recent weeks I've observed the ups and downs of the kings of Judah. So many started well and end poorly.

Solomon - had various encounters with God, built the marvelous temple, experienced his manifest presence and then was lead away and worshipped foreign gods..

Asa - started off very well but in the end he trusted in man and persecuted the Lord's prophet.

And on and on. What a warning! So many of the kings started well, but finished poorly bowing to the god of pride and trust in man.

Today I read the account of Manasseh. I was surprised... How could it be that having seeing that story so many times I never remembered that after being such a bad, bad, bad king, he repented and"commanded Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel" [2 Chron 33:16].

I want to finish well.

Galatians reminds me that I'm not above any of the faults I see or have seen in others. Gal. 6:1b, "Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted" and 6:3 "if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself," serve as strong reminders that I have feet of clay and a very good ability to deceive myself into thinking that all is well.

Lord, I want to finish well. I want Paul's words to be my words, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" [2 Timothy 4:7]. I'll keep another idea from Paul on my lips to help me stay faithful. Phil. 3:13b-14, "I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

I want to finish well.

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