Through a miraculous course of events, God has brought you to the I AM A WATCHMAN website and this article. I believe God wants to affirm His love for you, and the truth that He has good plans in mind for you (Jer. 29:11). What a profound statement. God loves you. God has plans for you. God wants to use you for a “noble purpose” (2 Tim. 2:21). Pause. Let that sink in. Thank Him for His love and promises.
It is Satan who whispers, “you can’t.” It is Satan who desires you to stay mired in the regrets of the past. God can (and desires to) accomplish the impossible in your life. Do not doubt His power or desire. Know that it doesn’t matter what you think your limitations are. Those who commit to believe in and follow Christ, find forgiveness in Christ, new purpose in serving Christ, and receive help from the Holy Spirit to finish well for Christ.
Finishing well (Matthew 25:21; 2 Corinthians 5:10) is not about doing ‘high-profile’ things for Christ; finishing well flows from being faithful to Christ. Those who strive to learn what God wants them to learn and do what God wants them to do are called faithful – they finish well for God and are rewarded by God.
Watchmen are not to pray to be free from trials, but rather, to be a strong witness for God amid trials and persecution. The fulfillment of prophecy confirms that these are the last days; the faithful should expect things to become increasingly difficult. Persecution and judgments are coming. The temptation is to run and hide, but I believe God calls Watchmen to take a stand and be a light. Though the days can be difficult, remember, the calling is to do as much for the Lord as you can, for as long as you can. Those who keep this target in view will finish well.
Scripture notes that every person will give an account of their life as they stand before Christ. Know this: what you have confessed is forever forgiven and forgotten. Notable accomplishments pursued more for personal glory than for the glory of God will not be recognized or rewarded in heaven, no matter how noble or generous they may seem. At the judgment, God will not commend believers for how many dollars they earned, but for how generously they gave. God will not congratulate the powerful for leading large, profitable (secular) businesses, but He will commend the meek for serving faithfully. Our ability to forgive, to be kind and sacrificial, to share and witness and pray has more eternal value than exceptional (but earthly) athletic ability, fame, business acumen, power, title, or position. Many billionaires today, who may be rich for 50 years or so, will be penniless in eternity. However, the God of eternity will richly reward those who finish well for Him. In this, it will be as Jesus said, “The first will be last and the last will be first” (Matthew 19:30).
When we stand before the Lord at the judgment (1 Cor. 3; 2 Cor 5), we will not fear being cast into hell. But we will have the deepest desire to recall something in our life on earth that honored the Lord. What a fantastic reward to see Jesus smile and hear Him say, “I saw how you were bold for Me,” or “brave for Me,” or “how you sacrificed for Me” or “prayed to Me,” or “served in My name.” Our greatest eternal joy will be to receive His warm embrace and hear Him say, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” This future and everlasting joy can be yours if you finish well.
The goal in these last days cannot be to live well – but to finish well. It can’t be to escape persecution but rather, to help others escape eternal torment in hell. We must invest our assets, skills, and lives in service to the Lord and support Kingdom work.
The darkness will have its night, but the Son is coming (1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 19-20). Do not despair. “Do not grow weary in doing good” (Gal. 6:9). Prayerfully discern your spiritual gifts and step out by faith to do what the Lord leads you to do.
Remember, people do not remember how runners looked in the beginning stages of a long race – it is the end that matters. Push hard to cross that finish line in a way that brings honor to God. You will not be disappointed.
Noted below is an embedded live worship-hour teaching by I AM A WATCHMAN team member, Gary Ray. The teaching is titled, “Passing the Test.” The teaching notes the importance of anticipating times of spiritual testing, living well, and finishing well for the Lord.
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