Remember your first day on a new job? You were filled with eager anticipation. No doubt you carefully chose your clothes the night before, and made sure you looked your best as you hurried off to work. You gave yourself an extra few minutes so you'd arrive on time. And you didn't mind putting in a few extra hours.
It's fairly easy to begin well. It can be a challenge to continue well. The Bible is full of stories of people who began well. Consider Saul. When he met the prophet, Samuel, and found out he was to be Israel's first king, Saul answered in true humility:
Am not I a Benjamite of the smallest of the tribes of Israel? and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? wherefore then speakest thou so to me? (1 Samuel 9:21; KJV).
But we all know that Saul didn't continue well. His humility was overcome by jealousy, when David's popularity rose above his own. He allowed jealousy to take hold, and soon King Saul was consumed with plans to kill David.
Unfortunately, King Saul didn't choose to finish well, either. He willfully disobeyed God, and sought counsel from a witch (forbidden by God) before going into battle against the Philistines. He began as one who followed God, yet ultimately decided he wanted to call the shots.
What about you? Have you given control of your life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Are you serving Him faithfully with your life, or are you following your own game plan?
In contrast to King Saul, the apostle Paul became a servant of Christ and devoted his life to carrying out the Lord's will. I'm sure there were plenty of opportunities for Paul to become jealous of other believers. No doubt he was tempted to take his eyes off the work Christ called him to do, but instead, he resolved to be a faithful follower. His determination is evident:
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14).
Each of us has a decision to make. If you've accepted Christ as your Savior, are you following His plans for your life? You can make the choice to finish well, and say with the apostle Paul:
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7)
God bless you as you run your race for Him. Finish well!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for giving me Your Word. It's full of examples of people who have lived for You and those who have not. Help me to desire to continue well in spite of temptations to do things my way. Help me choose to be like the apostle Paul, who finished well. In Jesus' name, Amen.
*Maria I. Morgan is an inspirational writer and speaker and is passionate about sharing the truths of God’s Word with today’s generation. She lives in sunny Georgia with her husband and daughter, two dogs and two cats. Visit her on the web and download a free copy of her eBook, God Speaking. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter!