What It Really Means to Finish Well

By Michael Risley

Most of us want to finish our lives having done something truly helpful and significant. And if we have put our trust in Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we want to finish our life in a way that honors Him!

Probably one of the most profound examples of someone who did not finish well was Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus. After the betrayal, Judas was so distraught that he committed suicide (Matthew 27:5).

In contrast, one of the best examples of someone who finished their life well, other than Jesus, was the apostle Paul. One of the reasons for his success in honoring Jesus to the very end of his life was his single-minded focus and determination.

In fact, one of my favorite verses in Scripture speaks of this concentration when Paul says, “But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus – the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

Theologian and Bible teacher R. C. Sproul taught, “I think the key to staying useful as we grow older is to concentrate, not on what we can no longer do, but on what we still can do. You never know when God has saved some of his best gifts and abilities for you until your later years.”

Two other important truths come to my mind when I think about finishing well.

First, you want to make sure you go to heaven! This is the ultimate goal of finishing well! Nothing else compares to it!

If you have doubts about your salvation in Jesus Christ and whether you are going to heaven, click here to watch our Senior Living Ministries video about Jesus, eternal life, and heaven.

Second, live in such a way that when you get to heaven, Jesus says to you, “Well done, my good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21). In my mind, to hear Jesus say that about my life would be one of the greatest honors and blessings of all! Not for my glory, but to know I served God well, influencing others for Jesus all the way to the end of my life.

Want more encouragement and inspiration to help you finish well and make each day count? Listen to more from Dr. Michael Risley on the Meaningful Moments podcast.