Finish What You Started

Vision Casting 2022

Joshua 13:1 When Joshua had grown old, the Lord said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.

Following from the “New Beginning’’ theme last year, I asked the Lord what should this year theme be? As I seek the Lord, he led me to Joshua 13:1. Here, the Lord reminded Joshua that he was getting older and that there are still very large areas of lands to be taken over. As such, there is an urgency for Joshua to fulfil the charge & commission given to him by God.

As God reminded Joshua of the uncompleted tasks, he also speaks to us through these verses that there are still very large areas of land (Northshore and Punggol Point) for ROLC to take over. We need to continue the work that we have started and to complete it.

Completing the Assignment received from the Lord

Philemon 1-3 Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker— also to Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier—and to the church that meets in your home: Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here was a house-church in the city of Colossae, 100 miles east of Ephesus. A small house church like ROLC. Perhaps with 100 – 120 believers like us.

Archippus was probably Philemon’s and Apphia’s son, and likely a leader or pastor in that congregation. Paul greeted Archippus as a “fellow soldier,” a fighter, a comrade-in-arms. He must be a zealous young man, passionate in the work of the Lord, who reminds Paul of a soldier’s single-minded devotion to duty.

Archippus is mentioned a second time in Colossians 4:17:

“Tell Archippus, “Be sure to finish the work the Lord gave you.” (NCV)

…. See to it that you complete the ministry you have received in the Lord.” (NIV)

…. See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” (ESV)

There’s a special message that Paul, who was in prison, wanted to relay to this earnest young soldier for Christ. It seems that Archippus got distracted or discouraged somehow. We are not told what is stopping him to fulfil the ministry that he has received. Whatever it is, Archippus needs a reminder, a gentle push in the right direction.

Col 4:17 is our key theme verse for Y2022. This exhortation in Col 4:17 has two important points for us to take note of:

a. A Ministry Assignment from the Lord

First, Paul speaks of a “ministry” or “work” that Archippus received. This ministry or work is given or assigned by the Lord. This ministry is perhaps a pastoral calling or assignment of some kind that has been placed before Archippus and received and accepted by Archippus as valid.

Ps John and Kathleen received their calling and obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit to leave Frankel Bethesda church to start a pioneer work here in Punggol/Sengkang 19 years ago.

Our vision and assignment which we received from the Lord for ROLC is to: make disciples, build godly families and pastor Punggol.

ROLC has a unique assignment from the Lord! But every believer, all of us, in any seasons of your life has also a personal ministry from the Lord.

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.

God not only created us and redeemed us but he has also prepared good work beforehand that we should walk in them. He bestows upon us spiritual gifts, abilities & talents, unique personalities and finally prepare us through life experiences to serve him.

b. Fulfilled in Obedience and Faith

Next, Paul exhorted Archippus, “See to it that you fulfil or complete” this ministry. Paid attention to it. The verb “fulfil” means to make full or fill to the full. The same word was used by Jesus.

John 2:7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the waterpots with water.” And they filled them up to the brim.

So, Paul exhorted Archippus to fill his service for the Lord up to the brim – fully. To bring to completion that which was already begun; to complete or finish it.

Have we fulfilled our mission and vision in Punggol? Answer is No. Not yet. We have started. We have made progress but a great work remains before us.

For ROLC, we have started filling up the waterpots but they are not yet full. God wants to bless us, to fill our waterpots to the brim until it overflows.

Have you received the calling from the Lord? Much more than receiving it, be sure to fulfil it.

Encouragement to complete the Assignment

Other than Col 4:17, I am amazed at so many scriptures that the Lord is using just to bring to our attention and to exhort us to finish the assignment given to us:

2 Corinthian 8:10-12 It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; but now you also must complete the doing of it”.

Philippians 1:6 The God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.

Acts 20:24 But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

Revelation 3:2 Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.

A warning! Wake up! Many of us need to wake up from our stupor and finish the work started. Don’t drop out of the race. Don’t stop half-way.

For many of us starting things is not the issue, it is finishing that we have problem with. If we look around our homes, we have unfinished projects everywhere. There are many good examples of great finishers in the bible to encourage us. One of the great finishers of the Bible was Solomon, King David’s son.

1 King 6:14 So Solomon built the temple and completed it.

1 King 6:38 The temple was finished in all of its details according to all its plans.

1 King 7:51 So all the work that King Solomon had done for the temple of the Lord was finished.

When it came to building God’s temple in Jerusalem, Solomon finished it all. He left nothing undone, he was very focus. I believe his father prayed him into this environment. Listen to David’s prayer and his challenge to Solomon before David walked off the scene and Solomon took over.

1 Chronicles 28:20 David also said to Solomon his son, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you until all the work for the service of the temple of the Lord is finished”.

Dear brothers and sisters, we need to finish what God has started for us in “The New Beginning”. We cannot stop part of the way. God wants us to finish all.

Moses finished the work of leading the Israelites out of Egypt and building the tabernacle as instructed. Joshua completed the work of leading the people into the Promised Land and dividing the land as an inheritance to the 12 tribes. Solomon completed building the temple according to the instructions given by his father, David. Nehemiah completed rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Zerubbabel completed restoring the temple.

2 Tim 4:7-8 I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith; henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord shall give to me in that day.

Apostle Paul finished his work of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, and there is nothing more he could add to it.

Our Lord Jesus finished His work. While on earth, he is focus on doing his father’s business (John 4:34). And when the hour came at last, he could say in John 17:4 that he has finished the work that the Father has given him. Jesus’s last word on the cross was just: “it is finished.”

John 4:34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.”

John 17:4 I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do.

Have you left any work of the Lord uncompleted? It will be wise to see that it is fulfilled as well.

For ROLC, the Lord has given us Punggol Northshore. We will need to build up additional services to cater for the growth and increase. By faith, we pray for our 3 worship services and for new DGs in Northshore before we shift our focus to Punggol Point new flats. We have started but this is only the beginning. There are still many areas of land or HDB flats to be claimed.

Let’s complete the good work that we have begun.

Tung Weng Him

February 2022