Revelation 21:5-7 (NLT)
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.
Here in the south people are “fixing” to do a lot of things on a regular basis. It is the ultimate guise for procrastination and an excuse for those things that we begin but do not complete. I come from a long line of such people. My dad is the ultimate. He has great goals and aspirations to do many things but seldom considers the time, energy and effort that come with such a commitment. He has good intentions, but is easily distracted by the ADHD tendency that runs in our family. Our oldest daughter will be getting married in a matter of months. I encouraged her to begin going through her bedroom to pack up the things she would like to carry into her new life and discard the things of her past that she does not want or need any longer. One might think that living in the smallest bedroom in our house that this would be an easy task, but that kid has packed a lot of living (including clothes and shoes) in her ten years in there. Finally, she needed some help. Totally overwhelmed and overwrought with such a daunting task boxes and piles would surely bury her so mom came to the rescue. Honestly with all the chaos of our life with our son’s health, it is a welcome relief to organize the house. It gives me some feeling of control over my life allowing my thoughts to focus on something other than the next doctor’s appointment or cancer treatment. As we began to systematically go through her room, I realized that this was more than just a mess to clean up. Our daughter was facing the reality of change and growth in her life represented by putting away her childhood and fully entering adulthood. She would transition from her father’s house without a care or worry and move into her husband’s house to now depend on him. She is excited about her future but not necessarily about change. Let’s face it. No one likes change and fears to make such a commitment. It took a couple hours to thoroughly go through her closet from left to right, but when we finished it felt good. So good that I continued to go through the house to discover that she is not the only one who likes to hang on the past.
I am making everything new. It is finished. I am the Alpha and Omega. I am the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the water of life (or I satisfy you). All who are victorious will inherit these blessings. I will be their Go. They will be my children. These are powerful promises that demonstrate the Will of God for YOUR life and mine. However, we ready the first proclamation “I will make everything new” and miss the rest of the Lord’s commentary. It is finished. When Jesus Christ came to the earth, He did so to do His Father’s Business. He came on a mission. It was not a pleasant one but He did it anyway until it was finished. We are to follow the example of Jesus Christ, though not called to die on the Cross or anywhere else for our sins, we must finish. If you are frustrated today or disappointed with how your life is turning out despite coming to Jesus Christ, I ask you. Are you committed to finishing? We call on the Name of the Lord but until we become committed to finishing the race of faith, we cannot have the new life that He has promised.
John 19:28-30 (NLT)
Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and released his spirit.
When Jesus Christ completed His Work on the Cross, He did two things. First He said, “It is finished.” What was finished? No longer would there be a separation from man and their Creator. Jesus Christ provided enough grace, mercy and love through His Sacrifice to allow us full access to all that God has promised for us and provided to us. We were made in right-standing or righteous once again. “Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagles! The LORD gives righteousness and justice to all who are treated unfairly.” (Psalm 103:2-6) “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He as whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.” (Isaiah 53:4-6) The second thing that Jesus Christ did on the Cross was to release His Spirit. The Power of God was now free to live in the heart of mankind. This is pivotal in completing the work that has been begun in us. We came with a plan written by the Hand of God. (Psalm 139:16) It is a good plan with a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) Those who seek it wholeheartedly can have it. (Jeremiah 29:13) The Spirit of God living inside of us is His Seal that marks us as His Children. It is the very identification that we need to have all that He has promised us. (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:14) When Jesus finished His Work on the Cross, He opened the pathway for us to answer the call to commit our entire life to Jesus Christ and finish it by faith. We must search our heart and mind to decide if we are willing to make such a commitment to Christ before we answer His Call.
Luke 14:26-29 (NLT)
“If you want to be my disciple, you must hate everyone else by comparison—your father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life. Otherwise, you cannot be my disciple. And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple. But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you.”
Discipleship is not a forced position but a chosen one. You decide whether or not you will give your heart and life to Jesus Christ. It’s called our free will. But to say that you want to be a disciple of Jesus Christ means that you want to follow the Lord, you cannot be a disciple and do it your way. Grace is not an excuse to sin and continue to rebel without consequence. Any preacher or teacher that implies such a thing is a liar and false prophet. When we asked Jesus Christ to be our Savior, we also made Him Lord of our life. We walk His Way. Do things His Way. Talk His Way. Act His Way. We crucify our flesh and sinful desires as His Blood washes way our past indiscretions when it comes to sin, guilt and shame. We are free to finish the race of faith now. Have you considered the cost? Discipleship is a commitment to finish. It is an oath before the Lord that should not be taken lightly. It is better to finish than to start. (Ecclesiastes 7:8) Finishing is the difference between hype and commitment. (2 Corinthians 8:10-11) To begin something is a commitment to finish it. God sees it as an oath. He does not take covenant lightly. God always finishes what He begins. His Word never returns to Him void. (Isaiah 55:11) If you are not seeing the Promises of God coming to pass in your life, I wonder are you finishing what you start. Change is uncomfortable. The unknown can be a bit scary or down right petrifying. However, the Lord is finishing the work that He began inside of you and will not give up until you are complete lacking no good thing. (Philippians 1:6) Remember, He gave you His Spirit who is there to help you accomplish this thing called faith and be successful in prosperity. Prosperity begins in our soul. (3 John 1:2) Prosperity to is to bring to complete maturity.
Hebrews 6:17-19 (NLT)
God also bound himself with an oath, so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind. So God has given both his promise and his oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.
God’s Covenant with His People is never-ending. He made an oath that will cannot ever change because it is impossible for God to lie. So why hasn’t your promise come to pass? Why is life so hard right now? What if I am wrong about God? Well, if you can find it in His Word than you are not wrong at all. You are in the middle of your miracle right now. The only way to have it is finish by faith and confident hope in the Word of the Lord. We come wired with Eternity in our heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) We discover Eternity by faith. Problem is our faith must be put in the unseen reality of the Living God. The only way that we will discover this Eternity and maximize its benefits in our life is by allowing the Holy Spirit to work in us to produce confident hope as we learn to love and trust the Lord more. This is accomplished by a commitment to Christ as Lord of our life, and ongoing endurance as we settle for nothing less than God’s Best in our life. We don’t believe God due to a lack of faith. The only way to have more faith is use what we have sowing it in our life. We must go all the way back to the Old Testament and make a commitment to know and love our God. (Deuteronomy 6:4-9) To remain faithfully committed to Him, no matter how things look today. We must decide to commit everything to Him. (Psalm 37:5-6) It may sound crazy to you, but the more of your everyday life that you commit to the Lord praying about it and seeking His Direction, the more evident His Presence is in your life. We must commit our actions to the Lord. Not just how we act in church, but how we act everywhere we go in everything that we do. (Proverbs 16:3) Our lives should demonstrate our love and affection for the Lord even when He seems so far away. He’s not. He is right there inside your heart. The Lord is cheering you on because He sees what is ahead of you and all the many blessings in store for you as you commit your life to faith. We must decide that our life is worth nothing unless we use it to complete the good work begun in us by Jesus Christ. (Acts 20:24) “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (Romans 1:16-17)
Titus 2:11-14 (NLT)
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
There are many changes in our home right now as one child prepares to leave the nest and another fights for his future. I have peace that our daughter has followed the Lord and chosen well, it does not make letting go any easier especially in a season when I am inclined to pull my children closer. I have peace that God’s Promise is “perfectly sure” when He told me that “my son would live and not die”, but that does not make watching him walk this out any easier or less heartbreaking. Faith is not easy. Confident hope takes a great deal of energy and effort. These two things allow us to have all that God has promised. They are worth fighting for. Finishing the race of faith is a complete and total commitment to Jesus Christ – He does everything else. We struggle enough just to give Him our life and wait on Him to work it all out. If you are frustrated with the lack of fruitfulness in your life, then examine the tree. Where are you planted? Is it good soil? What are you planting including your action, words and attitude? What are you committed to? Faith is not for now. Faith is for forever. It is confident hope that everything that God has promised you will come to pass. We must finish the race. It is from beginning to end. It is not written from your birth to your death but from creation to forever. Commitment to the Lord is essential in finishing the race of faith. You cannot do it if you do not mean what you said, count the cost and actually follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. To begin something is a commitment to finish. He is faithful. Are you?
Hebrews 10:21-24 (NLT)
And since we have a great High Priest who rules over God’s house, let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.