In November of this year, I am planning to run my first ever half marathon (13.1 miles). To do this, I have to train faithfully, pushing myself beyond what I have ever done before. I will be pacing myself, adjusting my stride, mentally monitoring my pace and staying focused along the way. My wife, Teresa, will be with me along the way as she also runs in this event and I hope that we will be able to encourage each other. All in all, my hope is not to start the race well, but to finish it well.
On a similar note, Teresa and I will be attending a state convention sponsored conference soon to help us in our spiritual walk. The Finishing Well Boot Camp is a conference designed to minister to a small group of pastors and their wives. It is a chance for each of us to assess and evaluate our ministry through the eyes of Christ, to encourage us as we look to finish well in him, and to find ways to expand and pass on the ministry to the next generation of leaders. Being that this year marks my twentieth year of ministry in the Lord, this is such appropriate timing!
I am excited about the opportunity that we have to grow in God’s grace as we serve Him. Romans 1:17 says, “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life” (NLT). This reminds me that we are all a work in progress, and we are all growing in our faith. And as we go through life, God works on us to make us right in His sight, from start to finish, by faith.
Training, whether physical, mental, or spiritual, amounts to a degree of dedication and discipline. The same questions that applies to us should also apply to you: How dedicated are you to grow? Are you growing in Christ? Are you making adjustments in your life so that you are finishing well?
Let me encourage you to assess your own walk in the Lord, see where you need to make adjustments, and run with strength and confidence in Him. In Christ, we are all in the same race, the race of life, and the prize of the upward calling in Him is what we strive for as we hear the wonderful words, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” May God do a continued work in each of us!