It is quite obvious that anyone who runs in a race does so to finish the race. One will never win without finishing. Don't be disappointed in losing if you didn't finish the race. You must finish to win. A youth minister preached years back that "A champion is one who never quits!" In other words, you will never become a champion if you drop out or give up. This particular truth I have never forgotten.
Sometimes winning is finishing. For example when running a marathon most people are pleased just to finish. To them it is an extreme victory. Our walk with Jesus is very similar. We are all in the race to run and to win. But the way we win is to finish. The winners are those who don't quit; those who don't give up. The winners are the ones who finish, and finish strong. When it is over they will have crossed the finish line to receive THE prize.
Your enemy the devil knows that you are in a race. You are in a race to reach the finish line. To finish strong is to fulfill your destiny in Christ. The enemy's greatest ploy is to get you to quit before you cross the finish line, and thus leave your destiny unfulfilled. He does not want to see you in the winners circle, or wearing the victor's crown.
Now please listen to this. God never said the race would be a picnic. He never said it would be a breeze. As a matter of fact, Paul not only refers to this walk as a race but he also refers to it as a fight. He commands Timothy his son in the Lord to "fight the good fight". (1 Timothy 1:18) He tells him again in 1 Timothy 6:12 to "Fight the good fight of faith." Then in 2 Timothy 4:7 Paul says, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith..." This walk is a race and it is a fight. We must run to the finish line and fight to the finish!
It is inevitable as Christians (who are still human) that we will stumble and fall at times during the race. We will get knocked down sometimes in the fight. We will struggle with attitudes and temptations we know are outright wrong. When we do fall what do we do? Do we quit? Will God kick us out of the race? Are we disqualified?
First of all, know that stumbling, falling, and outright sinning will not disqualify you and me from the race. This is contrary to popular opinion. Many folks give up because they assume God is mad at them (for manifesting some humanity) and has disqualified them from the race. On the contrary. God says, "Get up my child! Get back in the race! Continue the fight!" When you and I stumble God is cheering us on to get back up and continue more than anyone else. Your biggest Cheerleader is God!
Remember: It is the grace of God that gets you into the Kingdom and my friend, it is His grace that keeps you there. By the very same token, it is God's grace that gets us into the race, and it is His grace that keeps us qualified to continue on even when we fall! Please understand that.
Keep running. Keep fighting. Keep moving forward. Don't quit! Don't look back at what you did. Look ahead to the finish line. Know who you will see? Jesus! He has already won the race and won the fight for you! He is cheering you on! All you have to do to join Him is finish...but finish strong!
|Finish the Race Cap
By Swanson, Inc.
Race car theme baseball style cap with checkered pattern, embroidered graphicsFinish the Race; hook and loop back closure is embroidered with Scripture referenceII Tim. 4:7
|Eric Liddell: Finish the Race - eBook
By John Keddie / CF4K
Learn about the amazing life of Eric Liddell, the "Flying Scot", with this Trailblazers biography. Written for children 8-14, kids will learn about Liddell's early years as a missionary's child in China, his Olympic running years, and finally his final years in a Prisoner of War camp in China.