It’s been said that finishing well doesn’t get enough press. There is plenty of focus on new beginnings, such as the start of new political campaigns, or some new program. But, where is the recognition for staying with something, through thick or thin, and seeing it through to completion? It’s not the flashy start, but the faithful finish, that really counts.
“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8.31-32)
A disciple of Jesus is characterized, not by how they start out, but how well they continue in Him and His word. Not only is this evidence of discipleship, but it is also the pathway to knowing and being liberated by truth.
There is a huge difference between knowing ABOUT Jesus, and being IN Him. Plenty of people have an impressive storehouse of information about the Jesus, His ministry, and His teachings. But, this alone does not make one a disciple of His. To “continue” in His word is to become personally and intimately acquainted with His entire realm and life. It is to know the resurrected and ever-present Christ, and the dynamic of His radical message, the kingdom of God. By knowing both Him and His teachings in this way, we discover truth that does not enslave through legalism, but liberates through the life of the Spirit.
Key questions before each of us today are: Where do things stand between me and Jesus? Am I giving Him, ‘lord, lord,’ lip service, or actively doing the things He says? Am I seeking Him out for what He can do for me and my loved ones, or seeking to know His agenda and purpose for my life and the world?
There is joy in heaven when someone begins the journey as a disciple of Christ. But, there is also joy when one finishes well: “Well done, good and faithful slave.” (Matthew 25.21) May we faithfully persevere and continue in Christ and His word today, and always.
©Steve Taylor, 2015 --Used by permission
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