2 Timothy 4:7-8
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 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.
In order to finish well we must try to maintain the correct standard in the present. We need to recognise and respond to the situation we find ourselves in. The Christian life is an unavoidable conflict – a struggle between good and evil. In 2 Timothy 4: 7-8 we are given advice on how to remain strong and finish well.
Run the Course – Aggressively follow the course. In 1 Timothy 4:7 Paul says, ‘train yourselves to be Godly’ The Christian life is rightly compared to a hotly contested race. Aggressively running the race requires discernment, discipline, and determination.
Rely on the Compass – Abide by the compass, Paul unashamedly declared that he had ‘kept the faith’. That is, he defended the doctrine of the faith, upholding and maintaining it in and by his ministry. The compass (the word of God) gave him instruction, insight, and inspiration.
Rejoice in the Crown – Anticipate the crown. Paul anticipated the crown of righteousness which awaited him at the conclusion of the race. Anticipation of the crown contributed to his faithfulness, his focus, and his fidelity.
To finish well, we must wage a constant battle against sin, the world, and the devil. This seems rather daunting and we may see this struggle as being overwhelming, but the reality is that we can be victorious by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Three short points which carry a tremendous depth and challenge. At first glance it appears to suggest a hard dreary slog, but upon further reflection it offers a balanced view of a disciplined way of life which is attainable with God’s help, which confidently leads us into eternity. A lot of food for thought. I wish you every blessing as you Run, Rely, and Rejoice this coming week.
I would like to share with you a child’s profound simplicity, here is a text message I received from my daughter Nicola. It records a conversation between her and my granddaughter Bella:
Bella “mummy can I go to heaven?”
Nic “I’m sure you will baby”
Bella “No I mean can I go now?”
Nic “Not yet please I want to love you down here for longer first”
Bella “what if we all go though?”
Nic “we’ve got a lots of living to do first”
Bella “Well you haven’t really got that long left”
I haven’t got long left, but I am aiming to run my course and focus on finishing!!