Before we know it, it will be this time next year. Another year will come and another year
will go but will have anything changed? Or will it be the same old same old mixed in with
regret, missed opportunities, and wasted potential? As the novelty of New Year
celebrations fade, I wonder if the motivation and zeal to change our lives from this new start
has faded as well.
No matter how well we may have started the year, what counts is how we finish the year.
You may get off to a flying start but if you don’t finish the race then what does it matter?
You don’t get a prize for starting the race. The ultimate goal is not to start well but to finish
well. And the truth is you may stumble at the start, you may stumble in the middle, and you
may stumble at every single point, but so long as you keep going and get there in the end
then that is all that matters.
The Apostle Paul was able to say ‘I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I
have kept the faith’ (2 Tim 4:6-8). There was not a shadow of doubt in his mind or in his
heart. He made it to the end. He did it. He got there.
But this was by no means easy. Blood, sweat and tears every single day - and it was all
worth it. For his prize was a crown that never fades. (Bible verse) It was the crown of
righteousness as one approved by the righteous Lord himself. (Bible verse) That is what is
at stake here. Much more than just right behaviours but this crown of righteousness is all
about right relationships. Righteous relationships with man, and a righteous relationship
with God. And if you are right with God then this will stretch into all eternity. It is no surprise
then that the Apostle Paul would be so dedicated, deliberate and disciplined in his life.
Are you fighting for righteousness? Are you pursuing righteousness? Are you believing in
the righteous one who is the author and perfecter of our faith?
It is most sobering to realise that throughout church history and even amongst our
congregation at ESCCC there are and there will be those who have and will profess faith
and yet in the course of time, for whatever reason will not continue to fight the good fight,
will not finish the race, and will give up the faith. May it not be so for any of us reading this
now, that from this day forth, we will all be able to say now and forever, I have fought the
good fight, I have finished the race and I have kept the faith.
Where will you be this time next year? Where will you be 5 years from now? Where will you
be in eternity. To put it quite frankly, you will either die in your sins or you die in the faith and there you will spend eternity.