” . . . if you pursue a life of faithfulness, you will find yourself in a challenging endurance race. It’s sobering to remember that not everyone will reach the finish line.”- Jeff Manion
“I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me — the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”- Acts 20:24 (NIV)
On Day 21 (“The Finish Line”), Week 5 of Dream Big, Think Small, Jeff Manion talks about a race he’s completed about twenty times. Held in Grand Rapids, MI, it’s called the River Bank Run. In addition, the race covers a distance of 15.5 miles (25K).
Because the race takes place in early May, runners begin to train in the unpleasant heart of Michigan’s winter. Hence, fulfillment consists of two parts: (a) crossing the finish line and (b) celebrating months of bone-chilling preparation.
Finally, as each runner crosses the finish line, a volunteer greets the racer with a finisher’s medal. For each competitor, the medal’s a prized possession. Even though thousands of runners get this medallion, each one treasures it. Because it’s proof they finished the race!
In Acts 20:24, the apostle Paul spoke of his aim to complete the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Furthermore, Pastor Manion sees God’s grace as wildly generous. God gives and gives and gives. However, Jeff notes, many races we choose to enter turn out to be much less noble. Thus, we:
- race to buy more of what we already possess great amounts of
- run after approval
- compete for popularity
Nearing the end of his life, Paul looks up to see the last yards of his race – the finish line in plain view. The apostle Paul wrote:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me — the crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”- 2 Timothy 4:7-8 (NLT)
Today’s question: What Scriptures help you pursue a life of faithfulness? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Beneath the surface – our foundation”