"This is the only race worth running. I've run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that's left now is the shouting--God's applause!" (2 Timothy 4:7-8, The Message).
There comes a moment in every life when a corner is turned and the finish line comes into view. This was Paul's moment, and in his closing letter to his young friend Timothy he calls him out as a champion, and gets him ready for the run of his life. "Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble," he said to him, "there's no way getting around it." (ch.3:12).
He then encouraged him to remain steadfast in the teachings of the Bible, and to keep the Message alive with his life and works. "Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another," he said, "Showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us." (ch. 3:16-17).
He reminded Timothy that God would always be there backing him up, looking over his shoulder; thereby empowering him to stay focused and complete the work that God gave him to do.
Finally, Paul turns his gaze to the finish line and says, "This is the only race worth running. I've run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that's left now is the shouting--God's applause!"
These times in which we live are filled with transition. There are many who have labored long and hard, faithful to the Lord, and are now headed for the finish line as they pass the baton off to you and me. Grab hold of it firmly, and run with fire to the finish.
Run for God's resounding applause!