Finishing Well

Read Romans 5:1-8

So now, since we have been made right in God's sight by faith in his promises, we can have real peace with him because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. For because of our faith, he has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has in mind for us to be....

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5: 1-2, 8 (TLB)

(Paul) "I have fought long and hard for my Lord, and through it all I have kept true to him." 2 Timothy 4:7 (TLB)

At the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City, John Stephen Akhwari was a marathon runner for Tanzania. During the race he fell, dislocated his knee, and injured his shoulder. In spite of his injuries he finished the race, although he was an hour behind the winner. When later he was asked by the press why he didn't give up, he replied, "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race."

Carol Purves lives in England. Her motto at school was a Latin phrase that means, "The end crowns the work." Carol understood it this way: "If you work to the end, you will win the crown." Those words have encouraged her all her life.

Finishing well with perseverance was one of the themes of the apostle Paul, who wrote, "We know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Then at the end of his life, Paul was able to write these words in his second letter to Timothy: "I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness" (4: 7-8)

We don't need to be marathon runners or the apostle Paul to finish this life well. By keeping our eyes on Jesus, we can hear him say, "Well done...good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:21, KJV).

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