A Fine Finish

A Fine Finish

“Time can’t be bought. It can only be spent.” ~ It’s Good to Be Queen

If you’re asking, “What happened to October?!” I’m right there with you, beloved. I was late to the gate with every week’s post (sigh), and may never catch up on emails.

How about for the next 3 minutes we put aside our to-do lists, our didn’t-get-it-done lists, our ain’t-gonna-happen-anytime-soon lists, and focus on that glorious day when our earthly work is done and the joy of heaven awaits us.

Best. Day. Ever. That’s a promise.

Chapter Ten: It’s Good to End Well

After a major gift exchange, the queen of Sheba’s visit with King Solomon came to a happy close. No tears or gnashing of teeth or sobbing into her silk hankie. Sheba simply went home.

Then she left
and returned with her retinue
to her own country.
1 Kings 10:13

The real happy ending? Sheba departed Jerusalem a changed woman! Not because she’d met the wisest man on earth, but because she’d met the one true God.

Proverbs 31:30

Even more amazing, Solomon had prayed for that very thing to happen, back when he dedicated the temple (1 Kings 8:41-43).

Solomon didn’t name Sheba, but he certainly described her—a “foreigner” who came “from a distant land because of Your name”—praying that all the peoples of the earth would come to know the Lord’s name and fear Him.

Oh, Solomon. What a man of God you were! But, “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the Lord his God” (1 Kings 11:4). Groan.

Let’s make a vow right now that we’re not going to follow in Solomon’s footsteps. No way. Year by year, we’ll turn our hearts even more in His direction and be fully devoted to the Lord our God. Yes?

That’s what Sheba did. We can too. For all who believe in the saving grace of God, the finish of one life is merely the start of another. Rather than our lives ending, we simply step into a new realm. Thrilling, isn’t it? I’d love to hang around for another decade or two, but I know what’s next is truly The Best.

For now, I’ll wind things up answering one of our Study Guide questions, then it’s your turn, my friend. How I’ve loved exploring the queen of Sheba’s story with you!

Colossians 1:10

From the Study Guide

1. a. Solomon didn’t know Sheba would someday appear in Jerusalem. But God knew. In what ways do stories like this help you grasp the sovereignty of God?

When I look at all the ways God was at work in Sheba’s life—wooing her north to Jerusalem with the promise of wisdom, giving her the courage to ask every question on her heart, revealing Himself through His servant, Solomon, prompting her praises when she acknowledged Him as God—I am even more convinced that God is at work in my life too.

The books I read, the people I meet, the experiences I have, are all part of a grand plan that I can’t begin to fathom yet joyfully embrace. God never makes a mistake, never misleads, never lets go. He is sovereign over everything, which for this take-charge chick is a huge relief!

Thank you, Lord, for showing us again and again in Your Word how much You love Your children. You see what we cannot see. You reveal what we would never discover on our own. You guide us along the path You’ve chosen for us. You bless all who praise Your name.

Ecclesiastes 3:14

Now, it’s your turn

When you come to the end of your days, what will you be glad you invested your life in? Please post your comments below. I treasure each one!

Your grateful sister, Liz
Your sister, Liz Curtis Higgs BibleGateway Blogger Grid I am honored to write for P31 Ministries Love being part of (in)courage!

P.S. You’ll find my video teaching for Chapter 10 on Vimeo, and here’s this week’s wallpaper for your smart phone or tablet (don’t you love sunflowers?). Next week we’ll begin celebrating A Season of Joy! Watch for my special holiday Bible study in your inbox each Wednesday thru December 30, with weekly giveaways (yay!).

A Season of Joy!

28 Responses to A Fine Finish

  1. Karen Tackett October 31, 2015 at 2:17 pm #

    Encouraging people to seek Jesus and to walk in His ways. Our 24/7 lifestyle is to keep every appointment and opportunity the Lord has for us to share the love of Jesus. Thank you for your encouragement in that endeavor also.

    • Vicki Lawrence November 1, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

      I will be thankful that I invested my time in loving my family with all my heart. That I reached out to the least of these-the ones that others overlook. That I shared my time trying to make a difference in suicide prevention and spoke to many survivors sharing my experience and any help that I could. That I spent my time, money and energy trying to make a better life for abandoned or abused animals. But mostly that I love my Lord Jesus Christ and no matter how hard things have gotten I have never lost my faith.

  2. Charlsie October 31, 2015 at 2:56 pm #

    At the end of my days, I’ll be glad I was allowed to invest my life in caring for people. As a life-time care-giver it has been a JOY to share in caring for the Lord’s sheep and lambs. Thank You, Liz, for this journey with Sheba. It has been such a Blessing. Thank You for sharing your thoughts and words, but also for sharing of yourself and your friends in the Vimeo’s. I look forward to the next “celebration” together.

  3. Jamille October 31, 2015 at 3:07 pm #

    Giving my retirement years to raising my two grandchildren who are in my care!

  4. Noreen Markham October 31, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

    Today I invested in 7 Blessings commonly called Grandchildren. Does it get any better than that this side of Heaven?
    Thank you for your thoughts.

  5. Julie Sunne October 31, 2015 at 4:08 pm #

    What a lovely study, Liz! I’ve pulled back from “my” plan to follow the priorities the Lord has placed in my life. Those priorities that are so easy to take for granted, like children and husband.

    May the Lord fill each of us with wisdom and discernment to choose His way and timing over our own.

    Blessings to you, dear sister!

    (Cannot wait to begin the Season of Joy! with you!)

  6. Vicki October 31, 2015 at 6:13 pm #

    I believe we must invest out time, money and energy in relationships. Making people feel loved (for they are loved), important (for they are so important God died for them), and knowing they are special and worthy of all those things will change their lives. Showing people how to love others as Jesus did is needed and a worthy investment.

  7. Patricia October 31, 2015 at 6:49 pm #

    After all this time, I’ve finally learned how to wait on the Holy Spirit for His leading because every time I acted in my flesh, I bombed. Whatever the means the Lord wants to use me, I’m game–whether financially, though I’m not well to do by any means, but I do have riches not of this world. I will give of my time, money if need be, serve others and give my Lord, my God all the glory. I want what I do today to count for something, for Him. If He hadn’t loved me first, I would be lost for sure. For I love Him because He first loved me!

    If I can lend an ear, a shoulder to cry on, encourage someone or others, than so be it. The Lord used me to witness to my cousin who became saved two weeks before her death from ovarian cancer. During that time I brought her reading materials that she absorbed like a sponge. And thanks be to the Lord she now has eternal life. John 17:3, NIV,
    “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” Praise the Lord! So however, whichever, and whenever He wants to use me. here I am Lord, utilize me. If you want me silent, I will be silent. You’re the boss and I desire to obey You!

    Paul mentions in the Bible that Jesus first appeared to the apostles but in fact, Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene first. And I often think how far we women have come. We need not be silent; we can share the love of Christ; we can teach; become pastors. I thank the Lord for that. I thank the Lord for Sheba, and for Esther whom I’m reading about today. I thank the Lord for women like Liz. I’m just grateful to the Lord for just today, for tomorrow may not come for me, and, then again, it may. It’s all up to Him.

  8. Blanche Hake October 31, 2015 at 7:15 pm #

    I have been blessed to have been able to spend many years teaching children and mentoring them. As a grandmother, I have also been blessed to get that second chance at raising children without all the responsibilities of day-to-day work. As I reach the end of my days, I look forward to the joy of being in the presence of God. I am now expecting my first great-grandchild and hope to have some loving times with a little one once again. My prayer is that they will see evidence of God’s love, compassion and mercy in me. My Lord has been with me through sad times as well as the great times, but I look forward to going “home” someday. Bless you for these studies.

  9. Cathy Gross October 31, 2015 at 7:23 pm #

    A couple of years ago I lost my appetite, started dropping weight and felt unwell. Saw a gastroenterologist, did some tests all negative. Time for a
    CAT Scan and when I opened up the request the diagnosis of “Probable Pancreatic Malignancy” popped out. I took a deep breath and over the next couple of days thought about dying. I am a nurse and know all the probabilities of survival and it wasn’t good. The thing is, I found I was not afraid of dying at all. I believe with all my heart I will go home to Heaven and be with my God. Jesus gave me that. What did trouble me deeply was that I had not done enough for my Lord. After all He did for me, I had done so little in return. Fortunately the diagnosis was negative and my appetite and those pesky pounds returned. But I find I am bolder in my faith and try to give His love away every day. He knows it all, has me safely where I need to be. Peace is a wondrous gift.

    • Patricia November 1, 2015 at 5:33 am #

      I was so touched by your comment. I have found that as I get older, and I’m 68 now, that I’m thinking more about death and though the sting of it frightens me, I know I will be with the Lord someday. My mom died in my arms and I was there holding my sister’s hand when she died. But, Cathy, I also felt and sometimes I still do that I haven’t done enough for the Lord but the Holy Spirit is showing me that Jesus did it all on the cross at Calvary and I don’t have to do anything other than to be obedient. I have regrets, yes, and feel that many times I’ve wasted valuable time dealing with things outside of the Lord and not spending enough time in HIM but what matters now is today, this very moment. We’re not guaranteed tomorrow, but look at what the Lord has done for you. I’m happy that your diagnosis was negative but the Lord won’t beat you with a stick for the things we haven’t done. You are blessed and favored for what Christ did on the cross and He sees you perfect and whole now. All we need do now is make right choices and obey Him. If we fall, He’ll be right there to pick us up. The past is the past; what counts is the now! God bless you and may His supernatural life-giving power flow through your body. By His stripes you are healed!

  10. paula timpson October 31, 2015 at 7:35 pm #


  11. Evelyn Post October 31, 2015 at 8:12 pm #

    After spending 8 years caring for my husband as he went thru various stages of Alzheimer’s realized that God was preparing me for something.

    A lady from church who works with severely disabled teens knew I loved to sew and quilt. She asked me to volunteer to help them make quilts! In the course of 8 month the kids each made a small quilt- 100 quilts hung for parents and guests to see!

    WOW! It was God who gave me the patience to do this!
    I have grown to love each of these special kids no matter how disabled and sometimes downright naughty and disrespectful they are.

    I am now in my third year at this special needs high school! God sure had a plan for me when I became a widow.

  12. Rita November 1, 2015 at 9:23 am #

    Finishing well for me is getting to know the Lord well & keeping Him as my first priority. Secondly, living a life devoted to Him which my children & grandchildren can follow which teaches them to keep our Lord first in their life.
    Thank you Liz. Looking forward to the next Bible Study.

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  14. Donna November 1, 2015 at 12:17 pm #

    I can only pray that I will leave a legacy that shows my family how much I loved them but more importantly how much I loved my God and my Redeemer. I am so very grateful to have a spouse who loves the Lord and serves others in a homeless ministry. Our daughter attends church with her family. I thank God that these things have come about and pray they continue after I have gone.

  15. Sharon C. November 2, 2015 at 2:52 am #

    Staying on the righteous path is a lifelong decision. It will be full of ups and downs but God will be there to help you through it. Many have tried and fallen. Seek Him first at all times.

  16. Agnes McElya Butler November 2, 2015 at 9:07 am #

    I try never to ignore or rush a divine appointment! When I leave I hope that every God like action is remembered and magnified by the Holy Spirit! I have raised my children, foster children and now investing in grand & great grand children. I want to be remembered by fruits of the Spirit, not by the stuff I leave!

  17. Christy Mobley November 2, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

    I will be glad if I invested my life into what God asked me to do and into being everything He wanted me to be.

  18. Amber Paulsen November 2, 2015 at 5:21 pm #

    Thanks for this awesome post, Liz! 🙂
    I’ll be glad I invested time filling up in His Word and praying each day before leaving the house. And the time I took to be a vessel of God’s love to other. Be blessed, ya’ll!

  19. Gina November 3, 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    I will be glad for all I did in Jesus’ name, in my home, on the job, and at church. He is truly worthy! God bless all this holiday season. Gina

  20. Susan G. November 3, 2015 at 5:29 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    I will be glad I poured into my kids and my grandkids all the wonderful, faithful ways of God. They’ve heard enough ‘God stories’ to last their lifetime already. 🙂
    I am also so thankful I had the opportunity to help facilitate a women’s small group bible study for many, many years too. Nothing is more important than sharing God’s Word and letting others know how faithful God has been in ones life!Bless you Liz, as you keep blessing others!

  21. Virginia November 3, 2015 at 9:04 pm #

    I investing in relationships is the only thing that will continue on into eternity. As Jacob Marley so wisely said in A Christmas Carol, ” mankind should have been my business “. I hope we all take time to invest in the relationships around us, not just during the holidays, but all the year through.

  22. Sherri November 8, 2015 at 4:28 pm #

    I will be glad that I’ve invested in knowing God’s Word and in the lives of those younger than me. By knowing God’s Word I can be sure I live my life well every day, and all those days add up to finishing well! By investing in those younger than me, I am fulfilling part of God’s plan for my journey, and infusing them with whatever wisdom God has given me.

    Thank you for this study, Liz! It has been just what the doctor ordered for this time in my life. And this week’s lesson, while a week late for me, was right on time. I am wrestling with the need to finish well and the desire to just quit. I am in the “final lap” of my cancer treatment; I was to have started radiation last week, but they found an abscess in the affected breast that has pushed everything back for several weeks . I had finally come to a place of peace with the radiation only to have this come up. Since I teach school, this will likely affect the beginning of next semester. My attitude is not where it needs to be, and this week’s study reminded me again that He has it all in control, no matter how it looks or feels to me. I particularly loved this line in this week’s chapter: “Each step of my life, I was exactly where I was supposed to be.” THAT was a great reminder!

    I don’t know how much longer God will keep me on this part of the path, but the more I remember that He is in control, that He has me right where He wants me, the better I will rest in His truths…..and finish well!

  23. Sherri November 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

    Oh, and P.S.: thanks so much for the beautiful weekly wallpaper! It has served as a great reminder each time I looked at my phone and tablet!!

  24. Lois Schultz November 9, 2015 at 5:10 am #

    Thank you for all the beautiful wallpaper! I enjoy it on my phone. Such great reminders each day. God has been speaking to me lately about what is important in life – family, grandchildren, husband and investing my time in them. This is what counts and is important in life. Also being a teacher at a Christian school I am so thankful to invest in the lives of these children.

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