Grace For The Journey
As we near the close of 2018 I want to take a two-part look at “Finishing Well.” The Holy Spirit led the apostle Paul to use this idea in a letter he wrote to his protégé Timothy. In 2 Timothy 4:7-8, the Bible says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”
Over the next two blogs we will examine the three phrases Paul used to sum up all that God had done in His life after his life-changing encounter with the resurrected Christ on the Damascus Road. We can use these God-breathed phrases to evaluate how well we have lived throughout the past year.
We will look at the first two phrases in today’s and we will examine the final one in tomorrow’s blog. Paul’s first declaration is . . .
I have fought the good fight …
If Paul had said “I have fought A good fight,” he might have been speaking about any fight he had engaged in. But he didn’t phrase it that way; he said he had fought “THE good fight,”
And the only truly good fight
Is the one God has called us to.
God turned Paul’s life upside down when He changed Saul into Paul, transforming him from the persecutor of the church into the preacher and pastor to the church, and Paul endured innumerable hardships in order to pursue his calling.
God’s kingdom was advanced
And glory can only be given to God
For the good fight God called Paul to fight.
Next, Paul declares . . .
I have finished the race …
Paul frequently compared his life to a race. When he used this metaphor, he did not compare it to a sprint, but rather a marathon. Paul lived a life that was reflective of that truth. In Philippians 1:6, he states, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the Day of Jesus Christ.” Paul knew that he had to continue, by God’s grace, putting one foot in front of the other every day, every step of the way.
As we draw near to the end of 2018, let me encourage you to take some time to consider both these phrases from the inspired pen of the apostle Paul.
Are you able to say the same as Paul?
Was 2018 marked by fighting the good fight of faith
And running with purpose and prayerful determination
In the race God has set before you?
Did you run in the strength of the Almighty?
Please understand that I am not suggesting that you should have fought the good fight and run this year’s race perfectly. Everything we do we do imperfectly, just as Paul freely admitted about his own life (Romans 7:14-24).
But here is the question
I believe we should
All ponder and answer
During these final days of 2018:
Did we make God’s plan for our lives
Our primary passion and pursuit throughout the year?
I hope you’ll come back tomorrow as we consider some additional thoughts on “Finishing well.”
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”