It's How You Finish That Counts

It's not how you start the race, nor what happens in the middle of the race, but it's how you finish the race of life that really counts. The Bible speaks of life as a race. There is no question about whether you will grow weary or falter along the way, it happens to us all, the question is how you will respond when you that happens.

How do you want to be remembered after you die? Will others speak of you after you have gone with respect and admiration? Or will they remember that you failed morally, or abandoned your calling, or that you turned back on the Lord? Will they remember a person who never stopped growing spiritually, or someone who lost their spiritual passion and direction in life? Will they remember a man or a woman who burned with love for the Lord and the lost, or a person who burned out and faded from the scene?

Jesus has died for us to give us grace to be saved, and grace to live victoriously. He offers saving grace and living grace - it is our task to take hold of that grace. Paul the apostle wrote about "taking hold of that which has taken hold of us".

1 Corinthians 9:24-25:

24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run  in such a way as to get the prize.  25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown  that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Hebrews 12:1:

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off every weight that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run  with perseverance  the race marked out for us.

Can you imagine running a marathon with a heavy pack on your back? And bags of groceries in your hands? No way. Lay aside the 'weights' that hinder you running with freedom the race God has set before you.

There are weights that hinder us from running well:

1. Not sticking to the basics of loving Jesus, loving the lost, and loving others in our spiritual family.

2. Losing focus on glorifying God.

3. Not building deep discipling relationships.

4. Stop learning.

5. Lack of humility over mistakes and sins.

6. Resentment and offense toward people who hurt and disappoint us.

7. Compromise of our personal integrity.

8. Spiritual plateau: not stirring our spiritual passion.

 

We all need five kinds of relationships to help us finish well:

1. Models - to inspire us

2. Mentors - to develop us

3. Prayer partners - to strengthen us

4. Life long friends - to stick with us

5. Spiritual leaders - to guide us

 

Has Satan defeated you? Have you compromised or sinned? As you burned out? Had it with the church?

God's grace is there to restore you and bring you back to the race. but your part is to humble yourself to God surrender your self to the Lord.