Found this interesting devotional in an old issue of Our Daily Bread, a daily devotion book that I have. The key passage was II Timothy 4:7, which says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”
“When I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a black belt in karate. Several years ago, I began training and came close to fulfilling that goal. However, two belts away from my goal, I quit. There were two reasons: my teacher changed styles in the middle of my training, and I got so busy that I could not devote adequate time for training.
Almost every week, I am nagged by the thought that God wants me to be a finisher in all aspects of my life, but especially in my service for Him.
As Paul spoke of the conclusion of his life, he did not have any nagging thoughts of unfinished business about his ministry. In this final farewell, Paul used imagery rich words to talk about finishing his service for Christ. He described his life and ministry in terms of a fight, “I have fought the good fight.” The fight was good because he had engaged in it for God and the gospel. Then he used the imagery of a race as synonymous with his ministry, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Paul affirmed that by God’s grace he had finished all that God had given him to do.
As followers of Jesus, let us strive to be finishers, persevering in our service for Jesus Christ. For every follower of Christ, there is a race to run. And when we cross the finish line, we’ll be with Christ, God’s Son. Run the race with eternity in view.”
As I consider that short devotion, I wonder, how are we doing at being finishers in life? It’s one thing to finish a project, or to finish a job. But how are we doing when it comes to being finishers in our service to God, and our Christian walk? Perseverance is getting back up each time we fall. Being a finisher in the faith means that when dark valleys come our way, we cling to the promise that, “even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you are with me.” Being a finisher of the faith means that when our time on earth is through, we don’t look back with any regrets of what we could have or should have done for God.
To be a real finisher of the faith means that one day, we will hear God say to us, “Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into your master’s happiness.” And won’t that be the ultimate prize, the prize that is worth being a finisher!