Why you should be worried about finishing well

Titian.Eve.Crop22 Surprise surprise. Christian leaders are a vulnerable as everyone else. Maybe more so. Some wisdom on the nature of the problem from Helmut Thielicke:

That is the curse of those who wish to justify themselves by works. They overcome temptation with the great bravery of Pharisees—and yet remain tempted, remain men in whom the abyss yawns and the wound bleeds and the chain with which they are fettered rattles. No man can leap over his own shadow.

“Helmut Thielicke, Between God and Satan. Free digital copy here.


Some wisdom on the fundamental solution from John Piper:

God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him. . .

Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God. No one sins out of duty. We sin because it holds out some promise of happiness. That promise enslaves us until we believe that God is more to be desired than life itself (Psalm 63:3). Which means that the power of sin’s promise is broken by the power of God’s. All that God promises to be for us in Jesus stands over against what sin promises to be for us without him. This great prospect of the glory of God is what I call future grace. Being satisfied with that is what I call faith.

John Piper, Future Grace, 9-10.

You can download the first three chapters here.

It's Sunday today, at least in my world. Why not spend some time in sober reflection before God. Are you troubled by the prospect of not finishing well as a follower of Christ? You should be.

Read Genesis 3. Read the accounts of the Exodus wanderings in the wilderness. Read the book of Job. Read the stories of the many kings of Israel who failed. Meditate on Ps 51. How could King David become an adulterer and murderer? But of course that's the Old Testament! We're in victory now.

Read the accounts of Jesus' temptations in the wilderness. If the Son of God, full of the Holy Spirit faced such and onslaught, do we think we are immune? Don't skip over Acts 5, the story of Ananias and Sapphira. Let it shake your confidence in God as a permissive Santa Claus. Camp for a while in Hebrews and listen to the warnings. Finish with the letters to the seven churches in Revelation 1-3.

Do you get the message? From Genesis to Revelation; Old Testament and New; life is real and so are our choices.

Sin is what you do when your heart is not satisfied with God.

Will you finish well?

LeadershipSpiritual FormationTed Haggard