Updated: Jan 8
(In honor of my grandfather, David Lee Getz, who finished his race well and went to be with the Lord on January 03, 2023)
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7 NKJV
All finished races start with a beginning. In the race of life, we are all appointed a time and boundary by which we reside (Acts 17:24-29). Where we are placed in this life is by God. Where we are led that is in accordance with His Will, is by His direction. What we do that is for His Kingdom and Glory, is by His Grace.
Everything that is worthy of being recognized is solely done by and for God.
Anything done that is profitable throughout our life is done by the Holy Spirit. Everything that is worthy of being recognized is solely done by and for God.
As born-again believers in this life, we are constantly journeying down the road of sanctification and change. We who are truly born again should see a great transition take place as time progresses.
We are called to “put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJV).
The new man is one who grows weary of this world but does not faint. The new man distances himself from sin and draws closer to Him Who made the Heavens and the earth. The new man goes from darkness to light, revealing the Love of God to humankind.
Becoming a new man is a great glory; to progress as a new man is the revealing of an incredible story. To be saved is worthy of praise. To continue in salvation with fear in trembling is to be revered.
Becoming a new man is a great glory; to progress as a new man is the revealing of an incredible story. To be saved is worthy of praise. To continue in salvation with fear in trembling (Philippians 2:12) is to be revered. Not that we respect a man more than God. Rather, it is a life lived for the Glory of God that is to be revered. This was the life of my grandfather.
A man who had MS for nearly 40 years pressed on to the very end. He was not well known, but his story was. He had no unique gifts, but he used what he had for the glory of God. Though suffering brought him into a state of inability to walk, eat, or go to the restroom on his own, he woke up each day with the joy of the Lord. Even as his mind faded with dementia, there were glimpses of what truly ruled his heart. The Word of God was still upon his tongue.
What a testimony it is to walk with the joy of the Lord wherever we are and in whatever season we are in.
In Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV), Solomon says, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” We don’t choose the season we are in, but we do choose the response to each season. Those who choose not to give up, and depend upon the Lord, shall see His Hand move mightily in their life. Though there may not be a deliverance from our current trial or circumstance, there is a promised hope that God is both with us and He will guide us into His Loving arms:
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3 (NKJV)
““These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”” John 16:33 (NKJV)
““and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”” Matthew 28:20 (NKJV)
The Lord Jesus said he “who endures to the end shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13 NKJV). The new man presses on to finish the race set before him. However, along this journey, we can expect blows from the Enemy.
The greatest attack the Enemy can inflict on a born-again believer is a life not well lived. A life ended with regret is lived with little to no profit for the Kingdom of God. It is in this state where Satan desires to both get us and keep us.
“This Book (the Bible) will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.” John Bunyan
John Bunyan once said, “This Book (the Bible) will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this Book.” We must always be alert to the Enemy’s devices. Satan and his fallen angels operate through distraction, deception, entertainment, temptation, and even in what can be deemed as good. “For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14 NKJV). We cannot finish our race well without the power, wisdom, discernment, love, and strength of the Holy Spirit.
The man who is to finish the race is the one who does not look back, but presses onward; he does not allow himself to be deceived by false good, but he discerns what is according to God’s Word; he does not set his mind on the things of this life, but the things above; he does not cower for his life, but stands boldly for the Truth; he does not remain discouraged, but believes in the promises of God.
The man who is to finish the race is the one who does not look back, but presses onward; he does not allow himself to be deceived by false good, but he discerns what is according to God’s Word; he does not set his mind on the things of this life, but the things above; he does not cower for his life, but stands boldly for the Truth; he does not remain discouraged, but believes in the promises of God. The man who finishes the race is the one who is possessed by the Holy Spirit and has learned the art of both godly contentment and freedom from temporal externals. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 (NKJV) states:
“Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
Do we desire to finish well? We must surrender all to God and believe in Him with a child-like faith that all things are either from Him or permitted by Him for a greater good.
Do we desire to finish well? We must surrender all to God and believe in Him with a child-like faith that all things are either from Him or permitted by Him for a greater good. We must earnestly prays as David: “As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:1-2 NKJV).
May we truly give God all and allow Him to direct our paths. May we ask that He give us the discernment to understand His Will. May we pray that His Spirit would be active in our lives. May we pray that He would give us the strength each day to die to self, remain humble before Him, and walk in fear of the Lord.
The man sold out for God will not go halfway or quit when times get tough. Instead, it is this man who will finish the race well and will hear on that Final Day, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord’” (Matthew 25:23 NKJV).
May we never lose heart, but remember that “Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NKJV).
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NKJV).
“Are the things you are living for, worth Christ dying for?” Leonard Ravenhill
May we honestly answer the question Leonard Ravenhill once asked his congregation: “Are the things you are living for, worth Christ dying for?”
May God help us to finish our race by living for Him from now into eternity.
May God help us to finish our race by living for Him from now into eternity.
O God in Heaven, Ruler over all, You are Great and Mighty. You, O God, are Love and Good. You are the Creator of the Heavens and the earth. God, we are weak without You. We can do nothing without Your strength. O God, equip us with Your Armor. Keep us from the Enemy’s attacks. Protect us as we hide under the shadow of Your Wing. O Lord, bless us with child-like faith in You. Give us the ability to finish our race and to finish it well. We trust in You, Holy Spirit, to complete the Father’s Will through us. May we run our race and not give up. May we forever be enraptured by Your Love, Power, and Grace. We love You, O Lord of hosts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.