Finishing The Race!

Finishing The Race!

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 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. 2 Timothy 4:1-8 NIV

No one ever said that living a life of righteousness would be easy. In fact, most people are warned about the traps of temptation that Satan would set the moment a person accepts the love of Christ in their hearts. To avoid the pitfalls, one must always keep their eyes on the prize that can only be obtained if we stay in the race.

In the midst of hardships, turmoil and chaos, confusion, stress and doubt–we must never lose sight of our purpose–whatever that purpose is for we will not achieve our goal, if we quit before we reach the end.

Think of a marathon–any kind of marathon–the goal or purpose is to finish and we all know–there can only be a limited number of winners–those who finish ahead of all the rest. But most people who enter a marathon are not doing so to win, but to finish–for them the finish is a win--and no matter how difficult the course becomes, no matter how tired they get or much muscles ache, their determination to finish is their reward.

This is the determination we must all have in life–to finish–whatever it is we start that is honorable in God’s sight–by staying in the race. Though we may get tired from all the obstacles put in our path, we must keep our eyes and hope on the end–when we’ll see the fruits of our labor and know we were on the right side of history.

And this is what The Resistance is all about–staying in the race–the goal to see wrongs righted in our society and force truth to surface by any means possible--at the end, to see all treated with equality and ability to live in peace and harmony.

No matter what each day brings–especially when it seems that efforts are wasted–we don’t give up; that’s just the trick of the enemy to create doubt in the minds of those who are determined to stay the course.

We continue the fight for justice against tyranny by keeping one another encouraged.

When we feel overwhelmed by news reports that appear to take a turn; we back up, rest and refuel the drive that led us here in the first place--ready for the next fight.

Wisdom is the principal thing and with all our getting–we must get understanding of all we read, hear, and see that could alter the direction of our fight. We cannot be deterred by minor setbacks and lies yet uncovered or by those who refuse to speak truth when asked. We must believe that there are others who will uncover all truth and even if the truth uncovered is not what we expect, we must be prepared to accept–the whole truth and nothing but the truth–no sugarcoated lies, no half truths, no white lies, no little lies and certainly–no alternative facts.

Though there may be many battles and all not won–we can rest assured that in the end–the war against tyranny, hatred and bigotry–will be won with Jesus on our side. We just have to stay in the race–no matter what!

I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Ecclesiastes  9:11 NIV

 

Enduring To The End!

But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 24:13 ESV

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.  I Corinthians 9:24,25 NIV

Today, I’m participating in a walk-a-thon to raise money for band camp for our students’ Marching Band and it appears that we’ll be walking in the rain on a cooler morning than we saw yesterday. I will dress to meet the test!.

To get ready for this event, I’ve been working out to a song for 20 minutes every morning and walking when weather permits. I can normally work a mile in under 20 minutes and recently have walked 2 and half miles in 40 minutes. Today, the goal is to walk 5 miles and I have at least two hours to get it done.

I wonder, if we knew how much time we had left to get living right for God, what we would do. Would we practice living right or just think by some “magical event” it would just happen?

Living right for God according to His Word is a daily exercise–physically and spiritually and the best time to start is early morning–to set the pace for the day. Get into His Word, meditate upon His Word, and then practice what you have read with all you meet and greet throughout the day. Living right for God is not going to just happen–like anything else that we value–we must practice. Exercise faith in the moment every day and watch how God will work in your lives.

Only those who endure–keeping the faith and exercising the Word–will be saved and in my case today–if I endure to the end of the time allotted–I shall reach my goal and will have earned enough from pledges to support two students for band camp.

Our God is awesome and at my age–I need His awesomeness to strengthen me at the turn of every lap until I complete my 20 laps.  Thank You, Lord for power from within and without to achieve-to Your glory!

Strong To The End!

“He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns.” (I Corinthians 1:8 NLT)

We have heard many times that it is not how we start in life, but how we finish. That may  be the stimulus needed for many who race in marathons or triathlons or whatever it is people do in which they need a strong finish. God’s promise to us is that He will keep us strong to the end–we will finish this race–without blame–and be ready when He returns to collect us! What a wonderful thought!

Now, in order to “keep” us strong, we have to get to a place where we are strong and are willing to “exercise” our faith to stay there. This is really how He’ll keep us strong. We must exercise our faith, on a daily basis, and know without a doubt that He will do whatever He said He’d do. God is not a man that He should lie and all of His promises are “yes” and “amen” to those who love Him.

How do we exercise our faith daily? Thanking Him daily for all we have or need is a good way to start. Once we develop this habit, we’ll discover that thanking Him comes as easily as breathing and we see how He responds to our acknowledging Him, He’ll do even more.

Obeying His command to love–no matter how difficult a person is–is an exercise of faith. We love Him and love others simply because it is required of us. The more we love, the easier it becomes to love, unconditionally. Think of this way–we are not always lovable, but He never stops loving us; therefore we must learn to do the same for others. The more we love, the easier it becomes to love.

So, let’s start where ever we are–at the beginning of faith or in the middle and stay strong until the end!