Wednesday, February 16, 2011
What Matters in the End
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. —2 Timothy 4:7
When Paul wrote the words of his final epistle from the Mamertine Prison in Rome, he knew that his time on earth was coming to an end. He had faithfully proclaimed the Good News, and though he had been warned that he would be arrested if he kept preaching the gospel, he persisted. So he found himself chained up in that miserable, primitive, little place, all alone.
Yet his words resonate with joy and hope, not with depression and despair:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:7-8)
Heaven is what was before Paul, and he looked forward to it. Now in Paul's case, he had the unique experience of dying, going to heaven, and returning back to Earth. That is why he had written earlier, "To live is Christ, and to die is gain" (Philippians 1:21). Paul understood that heaven was a promotion. It was a coronation.
Paul knew he was leaving, and he had no regrets in life. Everything God had called Paul to do, he had done. There was a sense of fulfillment or completeness from knowing he had lived life to its fullest.
Would you be able to say the same thing? Are there things in your life that still need to be done—important things? Are there things that you feel God has called you to do that you have not yet done?
In the end, the only thing that will really matter is whether you accomplished the purposes God had for your life.
Copyright © 2011 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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Have you ever doubted the Bible? Have you ever had questions about how the Bible came into being? Have you wondered about the historical reliability of the Bible? Listen. Don't feel bad about that. Let us help you. Here is a great resource that will bolster your faith and help you to defend your beliefs. This book is called Seven Reasons Why You Can Trust the Bible. It is written by Greg's friend, Dr. Erwin Lutzer, who is the pastor of the famed Moody Memorial Church in Chicago, Illinois.