Across Pacific & AsiaFINISHING WELL
R. Dwight Hill
If it is your determination to finish your pilgrimage well, here are five characteristics you may want to consider:+
1. Finishers have perspective which enable them to focus. That is, they are possessed with a vision for the eternal. "Only one life will soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last."
"...They were longing for a better country--a heavenly one...Therefore we do not lose heart...For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (Heb. 11:16b; 2 Cor. 4:16a-18) (See Rom. 8:23-25; 2 Cor. 5:7; Col. 3:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:7,8)Question: Is your primary focus in life on the temporal or the eternal? That which secretly captures your affections will reveal the answer to the question.
2. Finishers enjoy intimacy with Christ and experience repeated times of inner renewal. That is, they daily center their lives around the pursuit of an in depth relationship with Christ. It is their lifestyle. (Matt. 6:33)
"Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth..." (Hos. 6:3) (See Psa. 27:4)Question: Is your pursuit of intimacy with the Savior sporadic or consistent? Is it in fact a daily non-negotiable?
3. Finishers are disciplined in important areas of life. That is, they make hard choices to rule out most demands and enticements in order to focus on a few essentials, such as (1) The cultivation of God-ordained relationships (Matt. 22:37-39);
(2) The discipline of priorities (Eph. 5:16);
(3) The discipline, focus, and renewal of the mind (2 Cor.10:3-5);
(4) The control of the body (I Cor. 9:24-27); and
(5) The stewardship of resources (Matt.25:15-30).Question: Is your life a well-ordered intentional affair? Or is it chaotic, reactive, and survivalist?
4. Finishers maintain a positive learning attitude all their lives. That is, they conform to the New Testament concept that a disciple is fundamentally a learner: "The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect (complete, equipped, restored) shall be as his master." (Lk. 6:40 KJV)
Question: Do you possess a hunger to continue growing in Christ? Growing in life? Or are you dead centered?
5. Finishers have a network of meaningful and several important mentors during their lifetime. That is, they seek to be influenced by people who are more mature spiritually than themselves.
Here are some of the people who have mentored me over the years: Skip Gray taught me the "basics" of how to walk with God. Warren Myers impressed upon me the importance of holiness. Ray Ortlund continues to exhibit excellence. Jim Peterson models the balanced Christian life. Lorne Sanny demonstrates perseverance. Skip Tschantz epitomizes a Christian gentleman. And Jim White lives out the love of Christ.
Question: Are you actively seeking out mentors who can spell the difference in your life between mediocrity and true Christlikeness? If not, why not?
My prayer is that you are having a great week!
+Adapted from "Connecting" by Paul Stanley and J. Robert Clinton, NavPress My prayer is that you are having a great week! Facts of the Matter © 2000 R. Dwight Hill - www.factsofthematter.org - Unlimited permission to copy without altering text or profiteering is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
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