THE PATH TO THE FINISH LINE
2 Tim. 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."
Fight the good fight
Accept that the road may be hard. You may have a few hills to climb and there may be obstacles in your way. Remember that Paul called it a fight, and that implies opposition. But you know that your calling is from God, so put your running shoes on, show up on race day and run with perseverance using all the strength that God provides.
Finish the race
As you run, remember that the Christian life isn't a sprint it’s a marathon. Victory will come, but it won't be quick; prepare your heart and mind as well as your body for the long haul. Heb. 12:1-2 (NLT) gives us some good advice when it says: "Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus . . .” The temptation is to look at the other runners. Forget about them, keep your eyes on Him, focus on the goal, fulfill your calling.
Keep the faith
When fatigue begins to set in and the way becomes hard let your faith restore your strength. Remember, being a Christ-follower isn't about strength or talent or lofty aspirations or good intentions; it is about continuing to trust Him no matter what! And the object of this race is to finish. In Matt. 10:22 and again in Matt. 24:13 Jesus says: "Everyone who endures to the end will be saved."
Receive your reward
Those who finish receive the crown. And you need that crown, first because it symbolizes the righteousness of Christ and the gift of eternal life. Second, so that you will have a worthy gift to place at the feet of your Savior. Listen, we can only be in the race because He ran it first.
"The twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives forever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." -- Rev. 4:10-11
--- Pastor Keith