January 29

Exodus 35-40, Psalm 29

Many of us have ideas, even start off well, but, how do we finish. Some might remember a softball game in 2014 between Florida Southern and Eckerd College. This would be the final game for Chelsea Oglevie, Florida Southern’s pitcher. With the game close to over, and Oglevie about to win her final game, pinch hitter Kara Oberer stepped up and hit a winning 3 run homer. Kara Oberer was injured, hopping on one leg and unable to make it around the bases. If you can’t reach the base the ball is considered dead. This might have meant a win for Florida Southern. But to the surprise of the crowds, Oglevie and the second baseman, Leah Pemberton, picked up the opposing player and carried her around the bases enabling the home run to count. Though Oglevie and her team lost, she finished strong and will be remembered for this act of sportsmanship.

Moses was given an incredible task in arranging for the building of the tabernacle along with all of its furnishings. We read in Exodus 40:33, “And he raised up the court all around the tabernacle and the altar, and hung up the screen of the court gate. So Moses finished the work.” We see how God responded to the finished work in 40:34,38, “Then the cloud covered the tabernacle of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle…For the cloud of the Lord was above the tabernacle by day, and fire was over it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.” When Moses completed his work on the tabernacle, God’s presence over it at the center of the camp would remind the people that God was at the center of their lives and their nation. The Bible is full of those who finished their lives strong and completed what God gave them to do, such as Noah, Joseph, Daniel and Nehemiah. The Bible is also full of those who started strong only to fall off, such as Adam, Solomon, and Uzziah.

Joseph Farrar wrote a book called, “Finishing Strong”. This book speaks about finishing your life strong and leaving a godly legacy behind. We must all ask ourselves what God has called us to, and are we willing to keep ourselves strong and in the race until the end of our lives. Paul writes during his life in Philippians 3:14, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Just before his death, Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Paul kept his focus and finished strong. Notice Jesus’ words in His amazing prayer in John 17:4, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.” We read Jesus’ words while on the cross in a John 19:30, “It is finished”. All of us want to hear what was told to the faithful servants in Matthew 25:21, “Well done, good and faithful servant”. Like over the tabernacle, if we can hold strong and finish the work we all have been called to, we could all have the consciousness of God dwelling with us, his people, at the center of our lives, always.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Aaron Salvato