We all know how well New Year's resolutions work...it is now the end of March and most of us can't even remember what they were for this year. It's one thing to make and start a resolution...it's another thing to see it to the end. But think of the benefits we get when we actually complete something. I have the same problem with books. I like to read, but for some reason I have a hard time actually finishing books. But, boy when I do I sure do get a lot more out of it and it doesn't seem like a waste of time. Paul fully understood this whole concept when it came to a relationship with God. And it's in the final chapter of his letters to Timothy that he lays out the plea for Timothy to never give up on God or the work He called him to. You see, Paul had "fought the good fight...and finished the race...all while remaining faithful!" And now he was just looking forward to the "prize." In all reality, it's not that hard to start the race, it's the finishing that's difficult. Ask anyone that runs a marathon...finishing can be a feat in and of itself. But Paul didn't want Timothy to just finish...he wanted him to finish well! He goes on to lay out a couple of reasons of why some don't finish well. Verse 3 reminds us of the ever-pressing temptation to walk away from the race because someone else is offering us something simpler and more manageable than our life with Christ. Let's be honest, Christ asks for full sacrifice and if someone else is asking for less it can be appealing at times. Paul goes on in verse 5 to remind us that suffering/persecution is another good race-stopper. It's in those moments when Christ "isn't rescuing us" that many fail to push on to the finish line. But once again Paul doesn't leave us wondering how we can muster the strength to finish the race. In verse 2 he encourages us to not just read the Word, but to study it! Make it breathe life into you! And then in verse 5 we are reminded to stay alert to what is going on in our mind. When thoughts of quitting are there we can't just push them to the side and pretend they're not real. We need to take them on and seek out counsel. And finally Paul pushes us to not be benchwarmers in this race. We are urged to be active! It's a lot harder to walk away from something that we have invested time, money, and energy in. When we are active in God's call on our lives it brings a huge amount of value! So let's fight the good fight, run the race, and finish well! There will be times when it would seem easier to quit and walk away, but God's grace beckons us on!
Family Challenge: What are the teachings that you have heard recently that have "itched" you ears? What are the things in life that cause you to want to walk away from Christ and His calling on your life? Talk with an older family member or friend that is finishing well and get their input on what has helped them fight the good fight.
Monthly Outreach // Saturday, April 16 // Meet at the Church at 9am // Canvassing the neighborhoods around the church for Easter // Praying for our neighbors and inviting them to Streams.
Easter // Sunday, April 24 // 7am Outdoor Celebration Service // 8am Breakfast // 9am First Service // 10:45am Second Service // Noon Easter Egg Hunt for the Kids
July Camp Info Coming Soon!