Finishing is better than starting. – Ecclesiastes 7:8a
King Solomon shares with us much of his God-given wisdom here in the book of Ecclesiastes. He knows more than most people will ever accumulate in a lifetime, so it is wise to heed the words of the wisest man, despite his falling away from God at the end of his life. He notes that finishing is better than starting. Why? We will learn in our application of this proverb.
Have you ever started something that you were unable to finish in the end? Was it because you ran out of materials or ran out of funds to finish the project? Or, did you begin a movement only to have it fizzle out on you? Regardless of whatever endeavor you started out on, it is wise to ensure that you can finish what you start. Even Jesus warned us to count the cost of being his disciple. Why? Because it will cost you everything. Jesus said that a king of 10,000 troops will consider if he has the resources to take on an army twice the size of his, or else he would face defeat. A man who builds something usually sits down to calculate the cost of building the structure prior to beginning to prevent starting it and not finishing it. How embarrassing that would be! This is the essence of what Jesus warned us, as well as the intent of Solomon’s wisdom.
If you have accepted God’s call to be his child and are learning to be a disciple of Christ, then I urge to weigh out the cost of this endeavor. For, it will cost you everything you have. The gift of God, eternal life, is free to all who hear the call to repentance and accept this gift by grace through faith. However, to truly be a disciple of Jesus, you have to give up all you desire and take on what God desires. This action may run contrary to all you’ve ever known or thought simply because it goes against human nature. We, through the flesh, desire to be in control of our lives and make all our own decisions, but we must learn to follow Jesus’ example and do/say only what the Father tells us to do. IF we learn this lesson, we will have much better lives than we could ever imagine. Therefore, you’ve started out on this journey through life as the child of God and a disciple of Jesus, then strive to finish the race. Remember the Spirit-inspired words of the apostle Paul, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.
Finish whatever you start. Don’t give up hope. Jesus didn’t give up on you, so how much more should we not give up on him? For we are minded by the words of the apostle John, And his called and chosen and faithful ones will be with him. In the end it is the faithful ones who will be with God for eternity. It was Jesus who said, For many are called, but few are chosen. Thus it is not enough to be just called or chosen of God, but we must remain faithful to the end. For elsewhere, Jesus said,…. the one who endures to the end will be saved. Again elsewhere in the book of Revelation, John spoke through the Spirit of Jesus, Anyone who is destined for prison will be taken to prison. Anyone destined to die by the sword will die by the sword. This means that God’s holy people must endure persecution patiently and remain faithful.
Finish what you started — being a disciple of Jesus — because God will see to completion the good work he’s started in you. Your’re called, great. You’re chosen, even better. Now stay faithful to the end and finish the race like the apostle Paul.
Father, I simply ask that you show me how to remain faithful to you and your kingdom, for the days are fast approaching when men will abandon you for the things of the world. People have itching ears and only want to hear what they want to hear. They would rather rebel against you and live in sin than to humble themselves and do what you desire and instruct. Lord, help me to be a man of integrity and one who makes his heart’s desire to be, not my will but your will be done. I want to finish the race and hear, when I step across the finish line in eternity, Well done, good and faithful servant. In Jesus’ name, Amen.