Pastor Thomas Smith   -  

“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”┬áJohn 17:4

What a wonderful Savior is Jesus our Lord! He came to seek and to save the lost. He left the glories of Heaven to reveal Himself to sinful man. He was God manifested in the flesh. He called men unto Him and started the church that He loved and gave Himself for. He took our sins upon His own body on the cross and purchased our eternal redemption with His blood, dying in our place. Then, after three days in the grave, He raised from the dead. He had a great work to do, and He often referred to His assignment. He was constrained to work while it was day, knowing the night would come when no man could work. With all that He was given to do during His time on this earth, He would finish the work. “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” Thank God He not only started the work, but He also completed it.

God also has a work for us to do. That work begins when one is born again, receiving Christ as Savior. But when does it end, at least as far as our work on this earth is concerned? The work of our lives will not be finished until life on earth ends. There is no retirement from the Lord’s work. Sometimes men and women are able to retire from their places of employment, and even pastors may retire from serving in a particular position. But, we never retire from serving the Lord. One of the saddest things I can imagine is for a Christian to serve the Savior for much of his life and then quit serving Him, as though there was nothing left to do. There will always be more to do. We all can witness, pray, and serve.

When Jesus was on this earth, the harvest was great and the laborers were few. This crisis has not been abated. When Paul wrote to Timothy about finishing his course, he was about to be beheaded in a Roman prison. He was faithful unto death. When Jesus prayed these words, “I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do,” He was about to travel to Gethsemane and then to Calvary. What an example Jesus is for us in every way! He finished what He was given to do.

May God help us to finish strong. It has been a source of great encouragement to me to see faithful servants of God who have finished the race. It is one thing to start strong, yet another thing to finish strong. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize and finish strong for our Lord.