Jesus Can Strengthen Me

Do you ever have trouble finishing what you started? Like a diet, exercise plan or project?  I do.  In those times it’s easy to get discouraged or feel like a loser.

Jesus finished all that God gave him to do.  Listen to his last words….

Knowing that all was now completed, and so that the Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said…”It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:28 & 30

He completed what God sent Him to do. The sacrifice was perfect. The debt had been paid in full. The best news for all of us is that Jesus finished the work. The bad news is that we have unfinished business.  If your heart is beating, you have unfinished business. There is more that God wants to do in you and through you.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “It wasn’t his time yet” in reference to a close call with death?  It’s biblical.  “Every day of my life was recorded in your book.  Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed” Psalm 139:16.  God knows each day we will be alive, and if you’re alive He has work for you to finish.   He will give you strength to do it.

Do you know what your unfinished business is?  Perhaps it’s to finish school, raise your kids to know Christ, provide your family a godly heritage, or minister to a group of people such as kids, youth or the poor.  Maybe it’s to use your talents to make a difference in His kingdom or in His church.  Since God has put this on your heart, how do we finish our work?  Two Things are imperative:

  1.  Make a Commitment.

You may be thinking, “I’ve done that! I’ve made a commitment!” Have you?  In our culture commitment is often seen as an eager willingness, but that isn’t commitment.

Here’s a good picture of commitment from history, In Spring of 1519, Hernando Cortez  sailed from Spain with 11 ships, and 700 men to discover a new world. They arrived with eager willingness, to expand the territories of Spain.  When they landed in Vera Cruz, their eager willingness waned quickly. Because what they discovered were violent natives that they hadn’t prepared for. All of a sudden the crew began to dissent. They began to talk to one another, ‘I want to go home! I don’t like the food! I don’t like somebody chasing me trying to cut off my head! I want to go home!’ Their eager willingness was gone. When Cortez got wind of the dissent, he gave the order; “burn the ships!”

That is commitment. Commitment is taking your passionate desire to do something, drawing a line in the stand, stepping across that line and there is no turning back. That is how we finish strong.

It’s exactly what we see personified by Jesus.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, He was battling over what He knew would happen. Scripture says that the stress and the agony was so intense that literally the capillaries in His skin were bursting under distress and He was literally sweating blood.  He prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me…” Luke 22:42a

Father, if there is any other way, please! And then, something changed. I believe this is the moment where Jesus stepped across the line and there was no turning back, and He says:

“…yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke22:42b   In that moment, it was on. If we are going to finish strong, we start with commitment, by making a commitment and refusing to turn back.

2. Take the Next Step.

It’s overwhelming to think of all that we need to do.  That’s why many lose hope.  They look at this huge chasm that separates where we are from where God wants us.  You say, “I can’t do it, it’s too much!” Yeah, you can!  With one step, after another step, take baby steps out of my addiction, baby steps to being a foster parent; baby steps to the promise of what God has called us to do and who He has called us to be.

That is why, we see, Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105.  God gives us just enough light to take the next step and just enough strength.

What’s your next step? What is it? You don’t have to map out the whole thing. God won’t let you even if you wanted to. What is your next step though?  Is it to cut up the credit cards? Is it to make the phone call? Is it to fill out your resume?  Sign up for a Growth Group?

In the Mexico City Olympics, John Steven Aquari from Tanzania, set out for hopes of an Olympic Gold in the the 26.2 mile marathon race. Sadly, for him and his country, midway through the race, he had a horrible accident.  He fell to the ground, gashing his knee wide open and dislocating his knee from the joint.  All of the other runners left him behind writhing in pain.  Over an hour after the race had been run and all of the other runners had already completed, John Steven Aquari shocked the world.  He hobbled into the stadium limping and fighting his way to the finishing line.  His leg wrapped with a little towel that was blood soaked.  He finished a race that virtually everyone else would have quit.  After the race the interviewers asked John, “Why did you do that?” And he said, “My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start a race, but they sent me 5,000 to finish it.

Some of you have fallen down.  You’ve been hurt, you’re discouraged, you’re not sure you can go on.    God is calling you to finish the race.  God did not send you to earth to start a race, He sent you here to finish it. Commit, take the next step and finish.

I’ll leave you with a verse I love,  He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.  Philippians 1:6

Who began the good work in you?  HE DID.

Who will carry it on to completion?  HE WILL

Jesus can and will strengthen you.

Darrell

For more about the series, “Jesus Can”  go to www.ridgefellowship.com

About dkoop

Lead Pastor of Upwards Church: Leander, Jarrell & Taylor, TX
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