May 9th, 2018 — IGNITE

Have you ever started something and then because it took too much time… too much effort and energy… or you just lost interest… you quit! I have. More times than I’d like to admit.

Or have you ever watched an athletic competition, only for one of the competitors to stop in the middle of the game for no apparent reason? Can you imagine a baseball player walking off the field in the 5th inning… a golfer quitting after 8 holes… a marathon runner stopping at the 15th mile.

Here’s another thought (at least one I’ve had in the past) – what if a preacher stopped preaching right in the middle of his sermon, and decided to quit because no one was listening?

Or what if you were going on vacation but stopped half way there and turned around because it was raining?

Why am I asking all these things? Because far too often we forfeit the goodness of God because we give up too soon.

I know you may not have been through some of the things I’ve mentioned but I needed to put a picture in your mind. I needed you to see how you are missing the blessing all around you. I need you to see what really happens when you give up too soon.

Is life always easy? Hardly! Is it worth it? Sure is! That’s why we have to stop getting defeated by the darkness when God, who is our Light, is bright enough to get us through. We’ve been conditioned through life, so the first sign of hardship drives us to surrender.

But I’ll tell you what… we’ve got to learn how to finish what we’ve started. There’s no reward for those who give up and give in. I watched the leader board and their names weren’t up there. I checked out the website and I didn’t see a degree for somebody who almost graduated.

Listen to me… I’m not talking about those who came in second – they finished. I’m talking about those of us who begin something, only to quit when we don’t like it anymore.

In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul is talking to the churches of Macedonia about their giving. He said, they started when they were poor and being tested but their overflowing joy pushed them to give over what they could afford. Then he encouraged them to finish what they started. Read this…
“And I give my opinion in this matter, for it is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. But now finish doing it also; that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.” 2 Corinthians 8:10-11

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Finish what you’ve started. It’s easy to give up and give in but the reward is at the finish line!

Help me finish what I’ve started. In Jesus name I ask this, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen