A Strong Finish

Several of us might have received and read these articles all year. I hope they have been encouraging to us all. There are some that probably started reading these at the beginning of the year, yet they quit reading some time ago. They may have purposely quit reading, or maybe they just forgot. That is often how our plans turn out. We will make big plans early to get reconnected with God or do something for God, and then we slowly forget about those plans till they are non-existent.

Some of us at an early age cared deeply for God. We then began to see what the world had to offer as we grew up. Eventually, we chose those things over God. We look back and wonder if we could even get back to our childlike devotion to the Father. Solomon had the same refection. As a young man, he was devoted to the Lord; he turned later in life to his own sinful desires and his prideful heart. At the end of his life, he wished he could return to the heart he once had.

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them” (Ecclesiastes. 12:1)

Thankfully for Solomon and us, the Lord does take back His people if they turn back to Him. The Lord desires our repentance no matter our age or past (Matt. 9:13).

If we are of the number that has decided to repent, we must now focus on persevering, growing, and finishing our race strongly. Much more so than trying to remember to read a monthly article, our walk with God needs constant encouragement. We must constantly reinforce ourselves to persevere and grow in the Lord. That is going to take bible study, prayer, worship, meditation on God’s word, and surrounding ourselves with people that want to edify and to encourage us. “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another” (Rom. 14:19). We must pursue God and encourage others to pursue God. These things will provide the ingredients for a Christian to remember the Creator.

If we practice these things in our daily life, we can finish this year and even our race with great hope. Paul faced the end of his life with great hope.

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Tim. 4:6-8)

Why did Paul have such great confidence that he was going to finish strongly? He remembered his Creator every day. He encourages Timothy to remember that the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead: “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel” (2 Timothy 2:8). Let us not forget that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. Let us begin today remembering our Creator and give Him the devotion that He deserves.

— Andrew Smith