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The End Matters As Much As The Beginning

Colossians 4:17
Tell Archippus: "See to it that you complete the work you have received in the Lord." (NIV)

Archippus was a Christian in the house church in Colossae, which met in the home of Philemon (Philemon 1-2). Some think he may have been Philemon's son, we cannot be sure. However we know that Paul respected him and describes him as a 'fellow soldier'. He had received a special ministry from the Lord, had experienced spiritual warfare and yet stayed strong when trouble came. Paul likens him to a commissioned officer in the army - and gave him the instruction, "Don't quit!"
Although everybody is a little apprehensive about starting something new, it usually gets better the more you are involved. However, the beginning is only the start. It is the end which matters. As in any military campaign, the battle can be lost at any point ... even at the end: and perhaps more easily at the end, through tiredness or even the relaxation after earlier success. So Paul's words would have reminded Archippus of his God-given commission: "Keep going, you have to finish because God has called you and you are accountable to Him: He will reward you". A few years later Paul was to write about himself (2 Timothy 4:6-8), saying that he had completed his task, and expected Timothy to finish well also.
It is a wonderful day when anyone repents of their sin and receives Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. But that is only the start. At every turn the devil tries to pull us away from trusting Jesus; and tells us that whatever we are called to do is either not important or it is too difficult. If Satan cannot stop us coming to faith, he will do all in his power to stop us ending well. So, we all need to be alert to his strategy, which he can turn into a temptation at any time. If Christ has called you by His grace, that is for all eternity: don't stop! If He has set a particular ministry into your heart, it is only finished when He says so and releases you for other service: so don't stop. And remember that continuing is not just a matter of endurance; it is a privilege to serve the King; so it should be wholehearted as we expect His reward (Ephesians 6:7-8).

Eternal God my Heavenly Father. Thank You for the privilege of knowing You and receiving the Holy Spirit because of all Christ has done. Thank You that He did not abandon His commission. I am sorry for the times when I am lured away from You and from the work You have given me to do. I did not recognise the devil's strategy or how I was being influenced. But now I repent and ask for Your forgiveness. Please help me to stay close to You and true to the end. In whatever way You have called me into Your service, help me to continue in confidence and finish well. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams