November 8, 2017
I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, 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 20:23-24
It was pure art. She ran effortlessly. Her feet gliding down the track. Her arms pumping in what looked like three-quarter speed. Yet she distanced herself from the rest of the runners. As the 100 meter first place timer, my eyes were on her. She, no doubt, was the winner. But then ... with about 20 meters to go, she committed the cardinal sin of sprinting. She looked back to check on the runners behind her. The motion disrupted her stride causing her to stumble. She fell hard, her body skidding on the track. In great pain, she crawled over the finish line ... in third place.
I will never forget that moment and the lesson that God taught me. Stumbling can occur even when you are ahead and almost finished. It's great to start well. It's important to run hard. But you have to finish strong. That is Paul's desire in this passage. He knows the race will not be easy. His future days include prison and hardship. But he is committed to finish the race and complete the task that Christ has given him. Nothing else matters.
What about you? Are you on target to finish the race and complete the task that God has given you? Are your eyes fixed on Him? Is your focus so intense that nothing else matters? What is the Holy Spirit compelling you to do? Life is too short to be running the wrong race. The race is too important to run without determination and focus. Run hard! And finish strong!
Father, You have given us a great race to run. Help us look forward, push ahead, and keep our focus. Help us run hard and finish strong. In Jesus' name. Amen.