Families and friends will gather today to complete the year and ring in a new year. Many will finish the year in prayerful worship. Others will gather with their families around bowls of chili and play games. Still others will go to parties or watch a ball drop on television.
Before you begin to celebrate a new year, think about finishing this year. How you finish one year determines how you will begin the next year. Or how you finish one season determines how you will start the next season. Farmers understand that when the harvest is in that tools still have to be cleaned, repaired, lubricated, and stored properly to begin planting season when Spring arrives. So the winter season is busy preparing for planting.
They know if they complete one season well they can begin the next season prepared. Preparing a field well, prepares one for planting, cultivating well prepares one for harvest, harvesting well prepares one for the winter, winter maintenance prepares one for the next season of prosperity or to be able to persevere through a dry season.
God has given each of us a purpose in life. We need God! We need you! And you need us! We are not in this alone. I wouldn’t propose living for one second outside of the will of God much less one season. Let’s live and work together for God’s glory and the good of the communities we live in.
Recently I read a great little story. Barbara Adam is a piano teacher. She rewards her students not only for mastery but for effort. Points are earned for memory work, amount of practice, written work and improvements, as well as actual performance. “After finishing his lesson one day, I asked my first grade student, Tyler, if he’d performed for anyone that week. He thought for a long time, finally saying with all seriousness, “God was listening!” (Barbara Adam, Christian Reader) Be encouraged that God is watching, listening, and an ever present help!
There has never been a flawless season in anyone’s life. Marriages have rough spots but we persevere because we are committed to loving one another. Raising children has its difficult moments because parenting requires a lot of selflessness. Yesterday, a young dad told me, we hardly go out anymore because the kids just get restless. I encouraged him go anyway. Teach them at home the kind of behavior you expect when you are out. It will never be perfect but enjoy your family and one day you will laugh. Experience has taught me that!
Just don’t give up! Finish the race with God, your marriage, your children, friends and church! There isn’t a perfect season but there are good seasons and dry seasons. Finish strong! Finishing is sweet! The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 8:10, “It would be good for you to finish what you started a year ago.” Notice that, “It would be good for you.”
This year Billy Graham passed away. He finished well. Loved by God, his family, the church, and people from around the world he completed his life in Christ. You can too by the grace of God.
What can you finish today to begin the New Year tomorrow prepared.
- Should you put your Bible on your nightstand or by the place you have your morning coffee to begin the New Year right? I recommend the New Living Translation.
- Do you need to lay out clothes to exercise in, so that you get up a few minutes earlier to stretch and exercise tomorrow?
- Is there someone you should call and encourage?
- Do you need to go to your wife or children and just tell them how much they mean to you and give them a kiss of love?
- Have you been faithful with your stewardship?
- Is there a last minute gift you should give?
“I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day Christ Jesus returns!” (Philippians 1:6)