The Word of Grace Devotion for the Week of July 20, 2015
2 Timothy 4:6-7, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
Beloved, I remember as a HS senior rounding the turn and heading to the finish line during an early Fall X-Country meet. As I picked up speed to finish the race I fell. Coach yelled for me to get up and I did. I limped to the finish line and finished with a throbbing left ankle.
I remember staying on the football team when over half the team quit because they did not like the coach. Coach told us that we needed to learn not to quit because in life we would often be tempted to throw in the towel. I have often been told in ministry, “It’s always to early to quit.”
The Apostle Paul learned not to quit. Paul finished the race and kept the faith. 2 Timothy is Paul’s last letter. He knows that his time on earth is nearly over and he will soon go home to Jesus, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand.” These are his final words and he implores us to, “Fight the good fight, finish the race and to keep the faith.”
Beloved, so many in their Christian walk start out well. They serve the Lord, they fellowship, they continue steadfastly in the Apostle’s doctrine but somewhere along the way they quit. Christianity is not for wimps. We will be challenged and sometimes as we round the corner we will fall. It is then that we need to listen to our heavenly Father who tells us to get up and finish the race.
Yes, as we serve the Lord we can become frustrated, discontent, and desiring to throw in the towel but where would we go? Back toour old lifestyle? No! Peter said in John 6:68, “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” So how do we finish well?
Beloved, perhaps your circumstances seem dismal today. Maybe you’re considering dropping out of the Christian race. From his dungeon, the aged apostle calls out to you: “Don’t quit! Keep going! You can finish well!
Paul would say, “Keep in focus my view of the present: You can reproduce yourself in others to carry the torch after you. View your life as a sacrifice to God.”
“Keep in focus my view of the past, so that one day it will be your past. You will be able to look back and say that you engaged in the struggle for the cause of Christ. You didn’t drop out of the race! You guarded the truth of the gospel.
“Keep in focus my view of the future. Soon you will stand before the Lord, and be vindicated by His grace. Live in view of that day!” You can finish well! Beloved, I pray that you will have a blessed week! I love you and I will be praying for you!