Thursday, March 30, 2006

FINISHING STRONG - - -by Max Lucado

Dear all,
In my last update I was sharing about finishing well and strong. Today, I came across this little devotional by Pastor Max Lucado.Hope it will encourage you in your walk with the Lord who is the perfect example for us in finishing well and strong in this life.I have been reminded and encouraged - not to quit regardless of the occasional defeats to the illness and other setbacks in life. And as long as I am still breadth, I know that God has a purpose for me here on earth - for His plans are not to harm or hurt me but for welfare and peace and not for evil.
(Jeremiah 29:11 The Amplified bible).So it is the same for you - like Jeremiah,God has a planned destiny for you and me. Let us press on and persue that calling which God has for us. Yes, like Max Lucado said,"let's endure!".


by Max Lucado

Remain. Hang in there. Finish. Stick to it until it is done.
Unfortunately, very few of us do that. Our human tendency is to quit
too soon. Our human tendency is to stop before we cross the finish line.

Our inability to finish what we start is seen in the smallest of things:

A partly mowed lawn. A half-read book. Letters begun but never
completed. An abandoned diet. A car up on blocks.

Or, it shows up in life’s most painful areas:

An abandoned child. A cold faith. A job hopper. A wrecked marriage.
An unevangelized world.

Am I touching some painful sores? Any chance I’m addressing someone
who is considering giving up? If I am, I want to encourage you to
remain. I want to encourage you to remember Jesus’ determination on
the cross.

Jesus didn’t quit. But don’t think for one minute that he wasn’t
tempted to. Watch him wince as he hears his apostles backbite and
quarrel. Look at him weep as he sits at Lazarus’s tomb or hear him
wail as he claws the ground of Gethsemane.

Did he ever want to quit? You bet.

That’s why his words are so splendid.

“It is finished.”

A cry of defeat? Hardly. Had his hands not been fastened down I dare
say that a triumphant fist would have punched the dark sky. No, this
is no cry of despair. It is a cry of completion. A cry of victory. A
cry of fulfillment. Yes, even a cry of relief.

Are you close to quitting? Please don’t do it. Are you discouraged as
a parent? Hang in there. Are you weary with doing good? Do just a
little more. Are you pessimistic about your job? Roll up your sleeves
and go at it again. No communication in your marriage? Give it one
more shot. Can’t resist temptation? Accept God’s forgiveness and go
one more round. Is your day framed with sorrow and disappointment?
Are your tomorrows turning into nevers? Is hope a forgotten word?

Remember, a finisher is not one with no wounds or weariness. Mother
Teresa is credited with saying, “God didn’t call us to be successful,
just faithful.”

The Land of Promise, says Jesus, awaits those who endure. (Matthew
10:22) It is not just for those who make the victory laps or drink
champagne. No sir. The Land of Promise is for those who simply remain
to the end.

Let’s endure.