Acts 20. 17-27
24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.
How many of you finish things that you start?
There are many types of personality, I am definitely an ideas person, a creative person.. I have great ideas, I write them down, I follow them through – but there is always paperwork behind everything we do.. and unfortunately I am not a paperwork person.. especially when it comes to finance. I remember when I was working as a children’s worker, I had no problems planning and preparing, but when it came to my expenses it was the worst job. (even though it benefited me)
I wonder how many projects are left unfinished around the world??
Good intentions – I will finish it? But when?
God created the world – it must have been an exhausting project getting everything just right.. but imagine if half way through God got distracted and we had no sea? Or sunshine..
God carried through the project to the end and only when it was finished did God rest.
It’s something that God instilled into his people, if we look at Noah? An enormous project God gave him, and even though it was an enormous task, and Noah was ridiculed and mocked he never gave up. Be honest if God told you to do it, would you have the determination to complete the project?
The disciples never gave up either – they could have done. Jesus had died, then left them. It could have been easier to have returned to what they knew.. and although they did, Jesus met with them and reminded them of their task, and they had to complete it when he would no longer be with them on earth.
So, in this reading do we find Paul wanting to complete his task, even though he knew it was going to be difficult. He was determined that people would hear the Good News.
How do I make sure I complete my task?
I write a list. Step by Step I write down what I need to do and then when I finish each part it gives me a great sense of accomplishment when I cross it off..
Also that way I never forget to do something – if I do it stares at me from the ‘list’.. I have notebooks of lists and ideas. So, if I need to do the same task again, I just repeat the list… I haven’t quite got around to doing everything on the computer yet..
It is important that we realise what our strengths are; it is just as important to recognise what our weaknesses are? So, that we can compensate for them.
I do it by writing lists.
Some people have reminders on their phones, some have other people they employ to do the things they aren’t very good at. It’s also important to remember that not everyone is good at everything. But there is always a way to complete a whole project, even if it means having a friend there to encourage you and keep you going whilst you complete it.
Because when it’s finished – what a feeling..
Paul didn’t complete his task on his own, he had others around him that encouraged him to keep going even when the going was really tough. He also knew that God was with him, though prayer and worship.
Children also need to understand about finishing a task and recognising what their strengths and weaknesses are, this can be done as a group or as individuals? How do they go about a task? Do they plan it? Or do they just jump in? which bit of the task didn’t they like doing?
You could give them a simple science experiment.
With everything they need and a set of instructions.
Then when they have finished the experiment they could fill in a questionnaire.
1. Did you plan the experiment?
2. Did you follow the instructions?
3. Which bit did you enjoy doing?
4. Which bit was your least favourite?
5. Did you ask for help?
6. Did you watch what the others did?
7. If they worked in pairs – did you split the task up?
8. Was one of you a leader?
9. How did you feel when you completed the task?
The list is endless.
I certainly need people around me – to motivate me at times to keep going and to finish the task that God has ordained me to complete. Special people who no matter how tough it gets have been beside me, they are my angels. To them today I ask God to bless them as he has me. I also say a big thank you to them for recognising when I needed a little push to complete the task.
Today I am going to motivate you…. Re-look at the task – complete it.. or if you can’t ask someone else to help..
Who are your encouragers? Maybe today you might say a little prayer for them.