A New Hope - Part 4

A New Hope Sermon Series

Finish What You Start

2 Kings 13:14-25
Now when Elisha had fallen sick with the illness of which he was to die, Joash king of Israel went down to him and wept before him, crying, “My father, my father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” And Elisha said to him, “Take a bow and arrows.” So he took a bow and arrows. Then he said to the king of Israel, “Draw the bow,” and he drew it. And Elisha laid his hands on the king's hands. And he said, “Open the window eastward,” and he opened it. Then Elisha said, “Shoot,” and he shot. And he said, “The Lord's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Syria! For you shall fight the Syrians in Aphek until you have made an end of them.” And he said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel, “Strike the ground with them.” And he struck three times and stopped. Then the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times.” 

So Elisha died, and they buried him. Now bands of Moabites used to invade the land in the spring of the year. And as a man was being buried, behold, a marauding band was seen and the man was thrown into the grave of Elisha, and as soon as the man touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and stood on his feet. Now Hazael king of Syria oppressed Israel all the days of Jehoahaz. But the Lord was gracious to them and had compassion on them, and he turned toward them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and would not destroy them, nor has he cast them from his presence until now. When Hazael king of Syria died, Ben-hadad his son became king in his place. Then Jehoash the son of Jehoahaz took again from Ben-hadad the son of Hazael the cities that he had taken from Jehoahaz his father inlaw
. Three times Joash defeated him and recovered the cities of Israel.

Just enough is the enemy to God's completed work in and through your life.  
When times of fasting end, the temptation is to step back from the earnest pursuit of God that brought a breakthrough in the first place. 

Bible references to finishing the race:

2 Corinthians 8:11
So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. 

Colossians 4:17
And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

2 Timothy 4:6-8
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

What have you done just enough of, that you need to persist in and complete?

  • Developing your ongoing patterns of consecration (I.e. - your prayer, fasting and word life)
  • Overcoming sin
  • New patterns of relating with your spouse and children 
  • New health choices 
  • New levels of generosity and service 
  • The Development of godly, accountable relationships
  • Finishing a degree or course of training 
  • Making a career move that will allow you to better pursue and fulfill the call of God
  • Following through with outreach to your family, friendship group, neighbors and/or workplace - engaging those around you with the gospel
  • A new level of disconnecting from media and/or your mobile devices to give room for these things 
"The giant step in the walk of faith is the one we take when we decide God no longer is a part of our lives.  He is our life."
-Beth Moore 

Elisha was a miracle worker by the hand of God (II Kings 4:18-37).  By returning to the bones, the word of God which he preached, resurrection can come to these areas of life you once considered dead.  (Even when the marauding Moabite was not looking for it, he was impacted by coming into contact with the life of God). 

Ephesians 2:10
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

How are you going to finish your part in God's unfolding story and purposes?

Christ's Completed Work

Jesus' atoning work on the cross was one that had to be completed in fulfillment of Scripture to fully satisfy the wrath of God for our sins. Because he persisted to the very end of his life, his finished work gives us full access to the forgiveness and friendship of God. 

John 19:28-30
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said ( to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

"If you're going through hell, keep going."
-Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill Quote

By his resurrection from the dead, Jesus now lives, continuing to strike the ground in intercession for those who would come to the Father through him.  Though his sacrifice was a complete one, he is active in fighting for those who would live for him on a daily basis. 

Hebrews 7:25
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Second City Church - A New Hope Sermon Series - Rollan Fisher 2017