To finish well means to come to the end of ones life and be able to say with the Apostle Paul: For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. II Timothy 4:6-8 KJV
I have fought long and hard for my Lord, and through it all I have kept true to him. And now the time has come for me to stop fighting and rest. II Timothy 4:6-8 The Living Bible
The sad reality is that an alarming number of Christian leaders do not finish well. It is the work of Satan to kill, steal, and destroy.
Everyone Finishes... Too Many Do Not Finish Well (Bobby Clinton) - Finished badly Saul, Solomon, Judas - Finished so-so David, Hezekiah In some cases the person is forgiven by God and continues to serve the Lord at a diminished level. - Cant be sure, left with a question (not enough information)
The reasons for not finishing well are well known and have not changed much over the centuries.
Seven Deadly Sins From the 6th century by Pope Gregory the Great Pride is an excessive belief in one's own abilities. Envy is wanting what others have, be it status, abilities, or possessions. Gluttony is the desire to eat or consume more than you require. Lust is a powerful craving for such as sex, power and money. Anger is the loss of rational self-control and the desire to harm others. Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain. Sloth is laziness and the avoidance of work.
Barriers to Finishing Well (Making of a Leader, Clinton) Misuse of Finances Sexual Misconduct Abuse of Power Pride Family Problems (spouse, children) Plateau (stop learning and growing) Emotional and Psychological Wounding
Secular writers… How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins Why Smart People Do Dumb Things Feinberg & Tarrant The Top 10 Reasons Leaders Fail, by Jack Stark How To Fail In Business Fortune Magazine, April 14, 2014, p. 80-90
Pride Christian and Secular authors list pride as the most common reason for failure in leadership
PRIDE Arrogance – I know everything Narcissism - Its all about me Refusal to be Accountable – Dont ask any questions
Consider the passage describing the temptations from the Devil directed at Jesus recorded in Luke 4
When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time. Luke 4:13 NIV, NKJV (for another season, KJV; another opportunity, Message; a more favorable time, AMP)
What is your opportune time? -Time of vulnerability, weakness, unguarded moment -The time you are most likely to fall into sin
Following a spiritual high point or mountain top experience. (Elijah) Period of isolation, loneliness, physical weakness (Jesus) Foolish decisions, open temptation, unguarded heart (David) Marital problems, Argument with wife (prayers are hindered) I Peter 3:7 Others…
Dr Archibald Hart: Every person has his price. Given the right person, in the right circumstances, we all have the potential of paying the wrong price for a moment of pleasure. (Farrar, p 72)
Pride is the biggest danger Humility is a great safeguard
Humility Very high Biblical value, very low cultural value! I Peter 5:1-7 God resist the proud, but gives grace to the humble
To practice humility I will admit… - It is possible for me to fail - I can fool man but not God - My own heart will deceive me - I underestimate the impact of my actions
Sin will take you further than you wanted to go Sin will keep you longer than you wanted to stay Sin will cost you more than you wanted to pay Farrar, p. 84…
When I finish, my legacy lives on. How long will my legacy endure ? Four Generations ?
And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. II Timothy 2:2
1. From Me (Paul) to 2. You, My Son (Timothy) to 3. Faithful men to 4. Others
For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me Exodus 20:5, Deuteronomy 5:9
Four Generations ! Generations of Godliness and blessings
Above all else, guard your heart Proverbs 4:23 NIV
Lest I should become disqualified I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. I Corinthians 9:26-27
Benediction Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25
[ Name ] Born: ______ Died: ______ ___________________
Finishing Strong Steve Farrar Multnomah Books Many helpful books and articles on leadership: Dr J Robert Clinton Foundational text: The Making Of A Leader, NavPress Visit his website for a full listing of publications. http://bobbyclinton.com/ Home Run Kevin Myers and John C. Maxwell FaithWords, New York http://bobbyclinton.com/