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Let’s purpose to finish well even as we grow older and near the finish line.

Updated: Jan 12, 2023

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy 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).

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 2Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified (1 Corinthians 9.24-27).

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing

(2 Timothy 4.7-8).

Dr Hal Habecker

One of the best contemporary “commentaries” of the concept of “finishing well” that I have read comes from the late Dr. J. I. Packer.

Consider his words (1926–2020); “Runners in a distance race… always try to keep something in reserve for a final sprint. And my contention is that, so far as our bodily health allows, we should aim to be found running the last lap of the race of our Christian life, as we would say, flat out. The final sprint, so I urge, should be a sprint indeed” (Finishing Our Course with Joy, pp. 21,22).

Do you have a clear vision of how God is calling you to “finish well’? Can you write it out?

I love this quote on this theme

“Growing, ripening, aging, dying — the passing of time is predestined, inevitable. There is only one solution if old age is not to be an absurd parody of our former life, and that is to go on pursuing ends that give our existence a meaning — devotion to individuals, to groups or to causes, social, political, intellectual or creative work… In old age we should wish still to have passions strong enough to prevent us turning in on ourselves. One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, compassion.”

Simone de Beauvoir in “The Coming of Age”

Commentary (ref

Second Timothy 4:1–8 contains Paul's last ministry instructions to Timothy. Paul knows that he will not survive his current imprisonment. So, he clearly and boldly charges Timothy—commands him—to hold to the faith he has seen and lived. He can do this knowing that Paul has faithfully served God, expecting the heavenly rewards given to all of God's followers. The poignant tone of this passage is made even more bittersweet by the long friendship these two men have shared.

As Paul looked toward his coming death, he also looked back and gave three positive statements about his ministry. First, he declared confidence in his own efforts for the sake of Christ. In 1 Timothy 6:12, Paul had commanded Timothy to likewise, "fight the good fight of the faith."

Second, Paul stated that he has completed the mission he was given by God. Elsewhere Paul spoke of the Christian faith as a race, saying, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it" (1 Corinthians 9:24). In Hebrews 12:1, the author also noted, "let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."

Third, Paul writes that he has specifically held to the truth. Paul did not keep some ambiguous faith in God, but "the" faith, a specific belief in Jesus as the resurrected Messiah. The New Testament often spoke of belief in Jesus as "the faith" (Acts 6:7; 13:8; 14:22; 16:5). Paul commanded the Corinthian Christians to "stand firm in the faith" (1 Corinthians 16:13), something he practiced in his own life. "The faith" has also been referred to several times in this letter (2 Timothy 1:13; 3:8).

1 Comment

Chip Mansfield
Chip Mansfield
Jun 10, 2022

Powerful scriptures on the topic of growing older.😊

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