an unfinished building

(J.R. Miller, “Unfinished Life-building”)  LISTEN to audio! Download audio

“This fellow began to build, and was not able to finish!” Luke 14:30

We are all builders. …every one of us builds an edifice which God sees!

Life is a building. It rises slowly, day by day, through the years. Every new lesson we learn, lays another block on the edifice which is rising silently within us.
Every experience,
every touch of another life on ours,
every influence that impresses us,
every book we read,
every conversation we have,
every act in our commonest days–
adds something to our invisible building.
All of life furnishes the materials which add to our life-wall.

Many people build noble character structures in this world. But there are also many who build only base, shabby huts, without beauty–which will be swept away in the testing fires of judgment!

There are many, too, whose life-work presents the sorry spectacle of an unfinished building. There was a beautiful plan to begin with, and the work was promising for a little time, but after a while it was abandoned and left standing, with walls halfway up—a monument only of folly and failure!

Sin in some form draws many a builder away from his work, to leave it unfinished. …

Many are those now amid the world’s throngs, who once sat at the Lord’s Table and were among God’s people! Their lives are an unfinished building–towers begin with great enthusiasm, and then left to tell their sad story of failure to all who pass by. They began to build, and were not able to finish.

It is sad to think how much of this unfinished work, God sees as He looks down upon our earth. Think of the good beginnings which never came to anything in the end. Think of the excellent resolutions which are never carried out. Think of the noble life-plans entered upon by so many young people with ardent enthusiasm, but soon given up. Think of the beautiful visions and high hopes which might have been splendid realities–but which have faded out, with not even one earnest attempt to work them into life!

Many homes present the spectacle of abandoned dreams of love. For a time, the beautiful vision shone, and two hearts tried to make it come true–but they gave their dream up in despair, either enduring in misery, or going their own sad and separate ways.

So life everywhere is full of beginnings, which are never carried on to completion. …

The lesson from all this, is that we should . . .
  finish our work,
allow nothing to draw us away from our duty,
never become weary in following Christ,
persevere from the beginning of our ideals, steadfast unto the end.

We should not falter under any burden, in the face of any danger, before any demand of cost or sacrifice.

No discouragement,
no sorrow,
no worldly attraction,
no hardship–
should weaken for one moment our determination to be faithful unto death! No one who has begun to build for Christ–should leave an unfinished, abandoned life-work, to his own eternal grief!

“This fellow began to build, and was not able to finish!” Luke 14:30

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