Topic: Finishing the Race - Friday 6 November, 2015
Memorise: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: - 2 Timothy 4:7
Read: 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (KJV)
6 For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.
7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.
Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 28:15-68; Colossians 1:24-2:15
The moment you became born-again, a race was set before you (Hebrews 12:1). This implies that until a person becomes born-again, he or she has no destination to go with God. It is the new birth in Christ Jesus that gives you a destination in God. Are you saved? If you are, there is a divine destination you have been called unto. Religion and being religious can never give you a destination in Christ. If you are born-again, you are going somewhere glorious, prepared for you by the Lord Jesus Christ, both in this world and in the world to come; but if you are not born-again, you are heading nowhere. You shall arrive at your God-given destination in Jesus' Name.
Moreover, it is one thing to start a race and another thing to finish it. While it is a great thing to finish the race, it is more glorious to finish it with joy. The devil will do everything to stop you from starting the race, but when he fails, he will try to hinder you from reaching the finish line. When he sees that he is not able to stop you from finishing the race, he will do everything possible to make you miserable, sad, depressed and unhappy along the way, so that you will end the race with grumbling, regrets, in tears and, if possible, even accusing God. These are all satanic wiles, but by the grace of God, you shall overcome.
One Bible character who was very conscious of the race he was called to run was Paul the apostle. In our Bible reading, towards the end of his race, he looked back and assessed his performance. He assessed himself against the backdrop of the rewards he saw reserved for him in Heaven. Paul knew exactly what he wanted. He had set his goal right from when his race started, and had worked assiduously towards achieving it. In Acts 20:22-24, in spite of the difficult situations he had already gone through for the faith, he acknowledged that several unpleasant events were awaiting him even as he headed for Jerusalem. Nevertheless, he was completely detached from them, because he was totally sold out to the Lord; the devil was therefore not able to get his attention. He had to do all these so that he could finish his race with joy. If you truly want to finish your race with joy, you must die to self. Satan will do everything to get at you, but if you are dead to self, you will not be moved. However, if you allow self to control you, you will take offence and finish in sorrow, and you may even get derailed. Are you ready to pay the price to finish this Christian race with joy?
Prayer Point: Father, help me finish with joy the Christian race set before me.