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Pastor's June Note

Posted on Sun, Jun 2, 2013

Overcoming the Failure to Finish

Overcoming the Failure to Finish

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified!" (I Corinthians 9:24-27)

The two most challenging factors of life's races could arguably reside in the start and the finish. It's incredibly easy to dream up ideas and resolutions, but not so easy to get them started. Depending on the race, challenge, or goal, it may be even more challenging to complete what seemed like an easy or painless task at the start. Of the vast amounts of U.S. high school graduates each year, a relative few decide to continue unto college, and only a little more than half actually complete a four year degree. Likewise, of the millions who try to lose weight each year, only a few actually manage to make it to their health goals. The Bible has many stories and proverbs regarding finishing well. Jesus' strongest charge to His "would-be" disciples came in His memorandum of discipleship...Luke 14:25-33. Jesus urged each of us to consider the cost before engaging in the process; because once started, not finishing would be painfully embarrassing. It is not enough to simply run the race of life. We are each urged in the Holy Scriptures to run with endurance (Hebrews 12:1). Last month's focus, faith's significance to warding off attacks of fiery darts, reinforced the critical need to have tempered shields for military readiness. This was noted in James 1:3, "For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness." It's not enough to build shields of faith and then hope they will endure the battle. Each shield must be tested or we may end the fight in defeat before we even start. So whether we are builders, runners, or fighters, it's finishing that seems to make the journey worthwhile. Perhaps one of the most fitting legacies of these tenacious and audacious attitudes of resolve could be found in Paul's letter to Timothy (2:4-7), "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." This is the hallmark and testimony of a faithful finisher and an overcomer!

In His race

Pastor Ron Brown

 

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