2016 is coming to a close rather quickly. There is not much time to finish up those “to-do” lists. You know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about those lists that had things you wanted to do or accomplish in 2016.
I’m not one that is big on New Year’s resolutions. I am growing more on the making goals and working towards them though. There is something that is motivating and productive about having some things that you want to see in your life.
I’m learning more and more each year that as a year comes to its end, there are some things that are left undone. I don’t like to leave things unfinished, but sometimes it is just the way it goes. Those certain items get moved on to the next year’s goals.
Jesus gave us an example
I remember hearing early in my walk with Christ that “Jesus is our example.” That is a good saying. As followers of Jesus, we should look to Him as an example (Hebrews 12:2).
When Jesus came to earth, He came with a pretty hefty “to-do” list. Among those things He had to do was:
- Live a sinless life. Jesus would walk this earth for some 33 years or so. He was to remain sinless every minute of every day. I don’t think that I made it 33 minutes in life without sinning.
- Remain obedient to the Father’s will. While Jesus was here on the earth, He didn’t seek out His own will. Over and over again, Jesus laid His will down to accomplish the Father’s. We see it when Jesus honors his earthly parents by obeying their wishes (Luke 2:41-51). We also see it moments before Jesus was arrested when He begged for another way but willingly laid His desires aside (Mark 14:32-42).
- Die in a very specific manner. Jesus knew that He had come to earth to die for the sins of the world. His death would not be in just any fashion. His death would have to be exactly like it happened in order to fulfill the many prophecies that had been given for centuries by God.
With all of these things (and many more) on His “to-do” list, Jesus was able to say with His final words before His death, “It is finished!”(John 19:30)
Jesus finished the tasks that He came to earth to do. He did live the sinless life. He was obedient to the Father. He did fulfill all the prophecies about the Messiah’s death. He did arise from the grave to put an exclamation point on His work.
Jesus is still our example
When Jesus ascended into heaven, He didn’t go into retirement. He started His next work: perfecting His followers.
Paul would state boldly in Philippians 1:6 that “He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”If there are undone things in our lives, it is not because Jesus quit. He is faithful to the task that lies before Him. His timetable may not be the same as ours, but it is always on time.
Get out of the way
If the undone things in our lives are not because Jesus quit, then what could be the cause of them? It might just be that we are in the way and need to move.
As we took down our “live” Christmas tree, I asked my youngest son to hold the front door open so I could take it out. He ran over and held the door open, but we had a problem: he was standing in the middle of the doorway while he held the door open.
I had to tell my son that I couldn’t take the tree out because he was standing in the way. He thought that he was doing what was right. He had a proud look on his face because he was “helping Daddy.” He was still in the way.Could it be that the one thing keeping us from seeing God move and do what we thought He would in our lives is us? Are we standing in the way… doing what we think is right… trying to help God get His plan done our way… when what He needs is for us to step to the side or fully let go of something?
As 2016 comes to a close, I would encourage you to take an inventory of the past year. Are there things left undone? Are there things that you need to let go or step aside from to see God finish that work in you? Do it and await that day when you stand before Jesus and hear Him say again, “It is finished!”