“I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
Well, this is it—the last GMU of the school year. Tests are over today and summer vacation begins for you all (students at least!) so I’m going to take a break from writing and do a couple other things this summer during my quite time with God. I’ll be back again, Lord willing, August 21.
As I finish the writings of Paul I conclude with one of his famous texts found toward the end of his second letter to Timothy. Three tasks completed, one reward secured, and a generalized application with a condition!
Three tasks completed:
- I have fought a good fight
- I have finished the race
- I have kept the faith
One reward secured:
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness… which I will receive ‘on that day.’”
And a generalized application with a condition:
“and not only to me, but also to ALL who have longed for His appearing.”
My youngest son and his wife ran the Lincoln Marathon last weekend (Grandma and I took care of the grandchildren!!) It was a long and grueling run through rain the first half and wind the last half. But they “finished the race!” They “fought a good fight” through the elements. And they agreed that the encouraging words offered by each other (and their cheering section of Grandma, Grandpa, three little munchkins, two brothers and a sister) gave them the support to help them keep on when they felt like giving up. And in the end the crossed the finish line and received a medal and a shirt! It was not easy but they hung in there. They believed in each other. And they finished! THAT is a lot like the race we all have to run. Training helps a lot; confidence, encouragement, and determination are essential. But the goal is to finish. To finish is to win!! And that’s what God said to me this morning. As Paul did, when I come to the end of the school year or of life, I want to be able to say, I fought a good fight, trying to keep a balance and a focus on the Savior; I finished the race (of life), hanging in there even when things might get tough; I kept the faith, even when sometimes I wanted to give up.
And the reward is just as sure for Paul, for my kids at the end of the Marathon, for me, and for you — not a medal but a crown — not a t shirt but a robe of righteousness — not for me only but for ALL who long for His appearing!!
Have a great summer and a good day “longing for His appearing” SO THAT we all will win what Jesus has in store for us!