Grace To Finish Your Race
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 20:24, NIV)
Did you know you have a race to run? It’s true. The Lord has marked out a path, lane, course and race for each one of us to run – and finish. And, He wants us to finish our race with joy! Here’s that same passage from another translation of the Bible: But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24, NKJV)
When my husband ran the Chicago Marathon, it was quite a sight. Over 35,000 runners started the race. Their adrenaline was pumping as they did their warm-up stretching and jumping, preparing for the starting gun to go off. Six-and-a-half hours later, not nearly the number that started had finished. I don’t know what the attrition rate was, but over the course of the 26 miles, many great starters quit the race. They didn’t finish.
How sad but true this is in the Christian life and ministry.
In Life: Thousands and even millions of people around the world start the race. A day comes when they “pray the prayer,” accept Christ and respond to altar calls. They invite Jesus into their lives and the race begins! Then life happens. Twenty-six miles later, you can look around and see the attrition. Where are the ones who started so strong and loved the Lord so much? Scores of people quit on the Lord, their faith and the call to be a true disciple while a small group of believers endure to the finish line!
In Ministry: Thousands of believers who’ve accepted Jesus as their Lord have sensed a call to ministry. They have a God-given desire to lay down their lives for others and embrace their task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. They start the race with enthusiasm! Then things get difficult. They discover that serving God is hard work – with long hours, little margin, and no guarantee of recognition or compensation for all their efforts. Twenty-six miles down the dusty road, the glitz and glam has worn off, and scores of people who were truly called to the ministry by the Lord Himself have bailed from the race. They quit.
Starting the race is the easy part. Staying in the race is the challenge. Finishing the race is for the strong. And finishing the race with joy requires loads of grace!
So, how about you? Where are you in the race? About to start? Rounding the first mile? Halfway there? Have you hit the wall at mile 19? Is your finish line in sight? Are you ready to break through the tape? Are you still in love with Jesus, and His cause? Full of joy?
Today, if you've quit on the Christian life or bailed on the sacrificial life of serving God – why not reinstate yourself in the race? Ask God (and others, if necessary) to forgive you for whatever reason that caused you to drop out, and ask Him for extra doses of grace to finish your race.
Today, if you've been running strong and are in the midst of your race, there is no doubt you could use a refreshing impartation of joy to keep running. Go ahead and ask the Lord for a huge measure of grace to finish your race!
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Timothy 4:7, NIV)
Say It: “Father, 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. I thank You for Your grace to run my race. I ask You for more grace to live the Christian life. I ask You for more grace to serve You and share the good news of Jesus. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”