Finish the Job………….

Finish the Job

July 22

“When Israel became strong, they pressed the Canaanites into forced labor but never drove them out completely” (Judges 1:28-29).

Have you ever hired a contractor to do some work and ended up having to spend time and energy to get him back to finish the job? The small unfinished projects simply irritate you and create ill-will between you and your contractor. If you have been involved in a building project, you have surely had this experience.

God wanted his people to finish the job. He often told the Israelites to remove your enemies from the Promised Land. However, many times they would not finish the job and the remnant that was left would come back and create difficulties. In most cases, the people of Israel would intermarry which enticed them into their enemy’s way of living. Other times they had to enslave them, which took time away from their mission.

Whenever we fail to complete a job it creates ill-will from those we are serving. It also violates a basic biblical mandate for every believer to do their work with excellence. The Bible says that Daniel and his friends did their work ten times better than anyone else. They were known for their excellence.

It is often said of American football that the hardest place to score from is the one yard line. That is because the defenses are greatest where there is the most resistance. Sometimes completing a job is like this.

Whenever you have a project to do make sure you complete the job fully. Go the extra distance to make sure your boss or your client is totally satisfied with your work. You may complete 95% of your work, but if it is not completed you will be known for what you did not finish, rather than for what you did finish.

Giving all to God………..

July 22
Giving all to God
For reading & meditation – Proverbs 8
“Choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold.” (v.10)

 

Christians who struggle with the concept of deferred satisfaction ought to consider the contestants who prepare for such things as sports competitions – especially the Olympic Games. Young men and women push themselves almost beyond endurance in order to gain a prize for themselves, their club or their country. I know that all the groaning and gasping that goes on as they train is not unmitigated pleasure. Why are they doing it? They are demonstrating the principle of deferred satisfaction. They are willing to ensure suffering now in order to win in the future. The pressure, the denial of legitimate pleasures, the strong self-discipline, the rigorous training, are all outweighed by the hope of winning. The idea of deferred satisfaction is not a uniquely Christian idea. It has been recognized by reflective people throughout history. Plato talks about it, and so does Socrates – and they lived more than two thousand years ago. Greek philosophy talks about the control of the passions by self-discipline and encourages the development of virtue by self-denial. Christianity teaches that God has come to this world in the person of His Son in order to set up a rescue mission to save us from an everlasting hell. We are saved, but not that we might sit back and indulge ourselves in the thought. We are saved to serve. If non-Christians can deny themselves present satisfaction for future gains and go to such lengths to win a prize, how much more ought we, who serve the risen Christ? Dare we stand by and watch them do for gold what we are not prepared to do for God?
Prayer:
Father, Your school is strict but the end is redemption. Your instructions, however hard and uncompromising, are in the end my salvation. Help me to see the end from the beginning and to use all my powers in reaching for the goal. Amen.
For Further Study
1. What is implicit in the calling to be a disciple?
2. Read through Proverbs and see how many times the word “discipline” is used.

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