Finishing the Race
Holy Week. The week that should be the most celebrated week in the Christians life. The week that brought fulfillment to everything the prophets spoke of and that Jesus Himself proclaimed, “Destroy this temple and I will raise it again in three days,” in response to the Jews demanding for Him to give proof of His authority. As they scoffed at His answer, they did not realize the temple He was referring to was His body. After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples recalled what Jesus said and it increased their faith.
As I was reading in Acts this morning I was moved by Paul’s words in chapter 20 verses 23 through 24, “I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.”
My eyes welled up with tears as I thought of Paul, having left power, wealth, and prestige, he travelled from city to city for the purpose of sharing the Gospel message. Knowing that potential imprisonment, beatings and even death would be faced on his journeys, he pushed on. The love that Paul had, not only for Christ, but also for his fellow man is inspiring and convicting for us.
Jesus suffered, died and was resurrected for the atonement of our sins and to offer us the gift of eternal life. Paul suffered and died to make certain God’s message of His grace to mankind would be spread throughout the world. Christian martyrs, like Peter, Thomas, Matthew, Polycarp, William Tyndale, Jim Elliot, and many others serve as examples of the importance to continue to suffer for the cause of Christ.
Christianity is not a children’s bible story, it is a life committed to serving the one true God and proclaiming His love to those suffering through life with no hope. We may suffer, but we suffer with hope. We have been given a promise from God and this promise is sealed by the Holy Spirit in our life that we have inherited eternal life, that God has began a good work in us and will carry it out until the day that we meet Jesus face to Face.
As we think about Holy Week, the walk of Christ as He obediently was led to Golgotha to pour out His blood for all mankind, let’s also think about those Christian martyrs who gave their lives in order for the Gospel message to be shared for generations to come.
Let’s also commit to being one of those who is willing to lay it all on the line for Christ. Willing to face insults and persecution for the sake of Christ. Not facing life with the intent of being a martyr but living life in a manner that when suffering for Him is the next step to be taken, it is taken in confidence that lives will be eternally changed as a result of our obedience to Christ. Let’s finish the race testifying to the Gospel of God’s Grace.
In Christ, Randall Hamer