Scripture Reading — James 1:2-4
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:4 —
I have lots of unfinished projects. I started but never finished them. Some are in my basement. Some are in the yard. Some are in my study. I hope I can get to them someday soon. They are good projects. It's not that I changed my mind about them. It would be good to see them all completed. But for now--well, I don't know what to say except that other things got in the way. Does that sound familiar--maybe a description of some things around your house? It's not a big deal if you set personal projects aside for a while. But when it comes to Christ, that's a different matter. The Christian landscape is littered with too many unfinished developments in people's lives because they allowed other things to get in the way. With great pain Paul had to write, for example, "Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me" (2 Timothy 4:10). Perseverance is the antidote for unfinished work, James says. Perseverance means following through, refusing to quit, not allowing other things to get in the way, even when it all proves harder than we originally thought. Perseverance, says James, is a part of maturity and completeness. It's a key element in our spiritual growth. It takes muscle in the inner life to persevere, and such muscle doesn't develop overnight. It comes only with strenuous workouts.
I have broken promises and let other things get in the way. Spur me on to be faithful. In Jesus, Amen.