2TI 4:7 KJV – I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
It’s easy to begin something new. When I start something new, I am excited with anticipation of what will come. Maybe it’s a new diet or exercise program, a new job, or a new relationship with someone special. There is always a sense of eagerness about a fresh beginning. But the excitement can wear off when we get hit with disappointment, failures, setbacks, or distractions. The challenge is not just to begin well, but also to finish well.
In the verse above, the apostle Paul talks about a race. He is referring to the journey of Christians—from the moment of salvation until the moment they see their Savior face to face. Has your relationship with Jesus lost the initial enthusiasm you felt? None of us wants that to happen. The apostle Paul did not want that to happen to the elders in Ephesus. He wanted them to sprint across the finish line in victory.
As believers, our focus ought to be on the prize: eternal life with Jesus. That’s why we shouldn’t pause mid-race and lose sight of the goal. Yes, there is pain and weariness, but those things won’t matter when we cross the finish line. In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he declared, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV).
Sometimes our priorities become muddled with desires of the world, and we may not look much different than an unbeliever. This is not the race God has called us to run. What really matters is spending eternity in heaven with our Savior. Paul’s race was a narrow path compared to others. Yet, how far do we ourselves wander from this narrow path? Jesus is calling us to finish strong and stay on the narrow path.
DIG: What is the “narrow path” that we are to run our race on? If you’re not sure, read Matthew chapter 7.
DISCOVER: Do you share Paul’s single-minded goal? Is keeping the faith and testifying to God’s grace your highest priority?
DISPLAY: Ask a Christian friend how they think you’re running the race. Discuss ideas to help get you to the finish line with joy.