Grace For The Journey
With only two blogs left until the beginning of a new year, I want to close out 2018 with some more thoughts on finishing well, rooted in these words from Paul to Timothy:in 2 Timothy 4:7-8, “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.”
Yesterday we looked at two truths that will help us finish each day and each years well – fighting the good fight and finishing the race. Today we will look at Paul’s final phrase …
I have kept the faith …
Here Paul is talking about the faith found in the truth of the wisdom of God. Paul, through the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling him had the privilege of pondering that truth, preaching it, protecting it, praising it, and practicing as God gave him opportunity whatever he was involved in or wherever he went. He fearlessly contended with those who sought to distort the truth of God’s Word and those who would water it down.
For Paul, keeping the faith meant keeping the all-consuming call that God had placed on his life in view at all times. He refused to let anything take him off course. Paul lived a life of fidelity to His faithful Savior and poured himself out in unwavering service to his Lord. Yes, he did it imperfectly, but he did it with all of his heart. There was no half-hearted effort in the life of Paul. His desire and dedication is clearly seen in the inspired words of Philippians 3:12-14, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14)
Think about it this way . . .
Everything he did as Saul
Prior to meeting the resurrected Christ
On the road to Damascus,
He did with all of his heart.
Now, as Paul, everything
He did was done with
All of his heart for
The glory of the One
Who had called him.
AS we come to the close of this year, let me suggest three key words that marked the life of Paul:
Paul was able to fight the good fight because he was sold-out in fighting it.
Paul was able to finish the race because he was steadfast in sharing it.
And Paul was able to keep the faith because he was single-minded in focusing on it.
It is my prayer that as you look back on this past year you will see all the good God has done, both in you and through you. I pray that you have learned from the times you fell short of the intended mark and take that lesson into 2019 with the confident assurance that “He who began the good work in you will complete it” (Philippians 1:6). . . . just as He did in the apostle Paul’s life.
Thank you for spending time with me this past year in my blogs. May God bless you and yours. Lord willing, we shall do it all again next year – lifting our eyes to heaven and receiving, by faith, the grace we all need to run our race 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.”