I think we would all agree, there is something attractive and honorable about finishing well. So why is it in Christian circles so many fade in their later years? Too often those who have served the Lord well for most of their lives fade at time when a strong, enduring faith is what is most needed. They withdraw from serving in the church and many times disconnect totally from the community of faith. The result is often a lack of confidence and assurance as they face the frailties of growing older.
How well we finish our journey here on earth will in part be determined by the decisions we make now, before our final days come upon us. I have seen many with a passionate faith in God let go of the things of this world and graciously slip into the Lord’s presence because they have nurtured a strong faith all the way to finish line.
You don’t want to enter those final days / hours with an uncertain faith.
Paul writes in Philippians 1:20-21, I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
Should this not be our highest aspiration as well, that Christ would be exalted whether in life or death?
When we stay strong all the way to end, death becomes the ultimate act of surrendering control of our
lives to God; not something to be feared but a means of allowing Him to take us home. We can graciously let go of the wonderful things of this life knowing that in Christ our passing from this world leads to life
eternal; knowing the truth that has been written on our hearts all along, that there is more to life that just the here and now. In a sense, death is both completion and anticipation, not an ending but the beginning of a whole new experience in heaven where we will finally know the fullness of life and joy promised by God.
Jesus has promised, My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. (John 14:-2-3)
I write these words to you, my friends at Valley, to encourage you to stay on the path of finishing well; stay devoted to our God, stay in His word and connected to the community of faith. Keep looking for opportunities to serve and do good as long as God gives you health and strength.
Whatever you do, avoid the fade!
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.