Today's devotional thought: About The Finish
1 Corinthians 9:24, "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize."
Stuart Briscoe in a message entitled, "Ordinary Folks Make Great Disciples," relates this story: "I taught all my kids to enjoy running. Then they taught me how not to enjoy it. While I could keep a pace ahead of them, it was great. But when they began to haul me out of bed early in the morning on a frosty morning to run, or when my daughter had me running a 10,000-meter race, I started asking, "What in the world am I doing?"
"I asked the question even more when we got to the start. There were 24,998 others. Being Milwaukee, some of them were dressed as beer bottles. One guy dressed up as a banana, another as a bunch of grapes. The gun went off, and everybody was laughing and waving. The banana was shaking hands with the crowd. And then it got rather interesting after about a quarter of a mile. The banana and the beer bottle were hanging over a garden fence--didn't look good at all.
"After about a mile there was no chattering or laughing. And after the second mile, the only sound was labored breathing. After the fourth mile, it was so quiet you could hear the birds singing. At 6.2 miles, people were dribbling in one at a time, and not many of them. The moral of the story is this: You get all kinds of people goofing off at the start, but that doesn't count. To finish does, and disciples of Jesus Christ keep on going."
After all, it doesn't matter how you start but how you finish. To get the prize you need to cross the finish line. So we run with the end in mind. We press forward knowing the end is ahead and the only way to get there is by going forward one step at a time. In another of Paul's letters he says, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:13-24).
Has your run turned more into a perpetual break? Are you making forward progress in your relationship with Jesus? Then get your eyes on the goal and move forward. "Run in such a way as to get the prize."
Prayer: Our Father, give us endurance to run the race marked out for us. Give us a glimpse of the goal of our race today. Imprint an image of heaven upon our heart today. We are running to You...and with You. Give us the strength to keep moving. In Jesus name, amen.