Finishing Well

Winter has returned. Snow, wind, and sub-zero temperatures Sunday morning, caused many churches to cancel services.

Like millions of others, I watched the Super Bowl Sunday night. I had no strong preference of which team I wanted to win, but was somewhat surprised by the ending. In all, I thought it was a good game.

One of the big draws for the Super Bowl is all the new advertising that is debuted during the game. In kind of an ironic twist, at least one of those ads indicated that cheating was okay as a means to win the race.

As I remember the story, when the turtle and the hare had their race in the old fairy tale, the turtle won by taking a slow and steady pace, defeating the speedier rabbit.

We are told in the Bible the one who runs the best race is the one who keeps his eye on the finish line, not being distracted by things going on around him. The writer of Hebrews said, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).

The Apostle Paul said, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—“(Acts 20:24). Then, near the end of his life, Paul wrote, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7).

To the church at Corinth, Paul exhorted his readers to run in such a way as to get the prize (1 Corinthians 9:24).

In each of these examples, the emphasis is on finishing well, not so much being first across the finish line. How does a Christian finish well? Only one thing mattered to Paul: to finish the work God had given him to do. We do not have the same calling as Paul, but the following applies to all Christians.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

In Him,
Pastor Jerry

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