Good Morning God’s People. I feel compel this morning to encourage you and to emphasize the importance of staying in this Christian race.
Our text on today starts with where we ended on yesterday.
2 Timothy 4:7—I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
We are living in a time where the bible declares that “the days are evil”. Because of all the distractions, i.e. the economy, unemployment, suffering, lack of faith, love for self and money, self dependency and many other things, some of those who confess Christ are now finding themselves with the desire to quit the Christian race. To be honest, many have already given up and quit!!!
To those of you who are willing to press on with Christ until the end, I hear God saying to you on today that “YOU CAN NOT QUIT, YOU MUST STAY IN THE RACE.” Remember, there is a ‘CROWN OF LIFE TO BE WON.”
This Christian race is not given to the swift nor the strong, but to those who endure to the end.
Apostle Paul knew that the time of his death was drawing near. Paul used three phrases to sum up his life: (1) “I have fought a good fight”; (2) “I have finished my course”; (3) “I have kept the faith.”
(1) “I have fought a good fight.” The Christian life is a battle against demonic forces, unseen forces of evil, temptation, the flesh, and the lust of the world. Throughout his ministry, Paul had fought a good fight and had been faithful. “fought” here means to strive in the Greek word and “agonize” in our English word. Both of these words translate “fight”.
Paul declares that the fight was a good one. What makes any fight good? The outcome!!! Christians already have the victory based on what Christ has done over 2k years ago at Calvary. Jesus has already conquered all our enemies for us and all we have to do is stand in His victory and continue in the race, knowing that the battle has been fought and the victory has already been won!!! GOOD GOD ALMIGHTY!!!!! Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ we are victorious, MORE THAN CONQUERORS THROUGH CHRIST!!!
Paul puts it this way in Romans 8: 37- We are more than conquerors through Christ who loved us. In other words, Paul was saying that nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus!!!! WE ALREADY HAVE THE VICTORY!!!! YOU SHOULD SHOUT AND TELL GOD THANK YOU RIGHT THERE!!!!
(2) Paul states, “I have finished my course.” This is comparing life to running a race. In Philippians 3:13-14 he describes this race. He said that one of the keys to winning is forgetting the things which are behind and focusing on the prize that is ahead. Paul certainly did that. He forsook everything for the rewards the Lord laid in front of him.
(3) Paul “kept the faith” and didn’t move away from the hope of the Gospel. As a result, “a crown of righteousness” awaited him in Glory.
Staying in the race is worth the temporary cost you pay here on earth. Remember, your temporary suffering is but for a moment, fret not. 2 Peter 3:8 declares—With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
As a last word of encouragement, I want to leave you with the words to a song that I have been listening to for the past 7 years and it has truly blessed me and helped me to stay the course. The Word of God (Bible), prayer and this song is “GOOD MEDICINE FOR THE SOUL”. LET’S LISTEN TO THE WORDS!!!
I dedicate the words of this song to those who feel like giving up on today.
Norman Hutchins :
You started out in a race, running a fast pace, no one could slow you down, no one could turn you around.; where are you now? You didn’t know that you were winning and you were near the end, just a few more miles to go, and you would recieve your reward; where are you now?
Run this race with patience, that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. Willing to endure trials and temptations, knowing that they only come just to make us strong.
Stay in the race, keep a steady pace, keep your eyes on Jesus, and you wil be just fine, (and I will receive a great reward). Ending: I will receive, ooh, you will receive , ooh, we will receive, ooh, a great reward.
AGAIN I SAY, “STAY IN THE RACE”!!!!!!!!!
GOD BLESS AND TELL THE LORD THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!