I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness... 2 Timothy 4:7 For those of you who are weary, tired, about to give up, you can't take it anymore. Well, I have good news for you. Paul the writer of a good part of the old testament felt the same way. Paul knew that his time was short, he was finished. His head wasn't quite on the chopping block but he knew he was headed that way. But Paul isn't talking about retirement here, he is talking about finishing the race of life strong. You can't live your life based on the past failures, or even accomplishments. Paul suffered through prison, severe beatings, shipwrecked, naked, hunger, thirst, cold and weariness unto death. But Paul didn't define his life on what happened to him, but by how he "kept the faith", he never stopped living for the Lord. When you live your life looking in the rear view mirror you will never see what God has in front of you. You will never know when to turn down a road because you would of already passed it. When you drive you keep your eyes on the road, you can't keep focus on everything happening around you, just like we live our daily lives, but we aren't defined by them. When you serve God faithfully, you are not defined by your past, but by how you keep running and pursuing Jesus. Your best is always ahead and not behind you, it's not what you did (or didn't do) in the past. When you read a good book, you don't go back and read previous pages, you keep reading to see what happens next, to see how it ends. Our "crown of righteousness" is the reward at the finish. It's a victory crown for those who finished. Life is a race that can't be run by looking backwards, only forwards. Keep running and looking forward to the finish line. Your crown is not too far ahead.
Pastor Michael Garcia
Overseer and Pastor at First Assembly HOEN