Even if we are not the type to set goals and target how we hope to live out our lives, we all generally have some sort of hope or dream as to how we will "finish" the life we have lived.
I can't think of a greater goal as expressed by Paul in this passage:
Acts 20:24 (AMP) - "But none of these things move me; neither do I esteem my life dear to myself, if only I may finish my course with joy and the ministry which I have obtained from [which was entrusted to me by] the Lord Jesus, faithfully to attest to the good news (Gospel) of God's grace (His unmerited favor, spiritual blessing, and mercy)."
Paul lived well and he finished well. Some may marvel over that because we know he lived the last few years of his life imprisoned, and even died by the executioner's sword.
That was OK by Paul. It wasn't a deal breaker. His own life meant nothing to him, but only as to how he lived and finished that life.
Paul knew what Jesus meant and he strived to live his life accordingly.
Matthew 16:25 (AMP) - "For whoever is bent on saving his [temporal] life [his comfort and security here] shall lose it [eternal life]; and whoever loses his life [his comfort and security here] for My sake shall find it [life everlasting]."
Only pleasing Jesus mattered. He didn't allow his flesh to get in the way.
All that matters is to live well and finish well. It's not wealth, health, or status. It's not earthly comforts or carnal pleasures.
Even in a jail cell facing execution one can look brightly at the future because it is contained in Jesus.
Few of us will finish that drastically, but we should finish with the same attitude.
It's Jesus. He has absorbed our past, fills our present, and is our hope for the future. Whatever else is contained in that for our joy and pleasure is a bonus, but all in all, Jesus is enough.
Keepin' it Real,
Pastor Kevin <><