Paul’s valedictory can be captured in his final words to Timothy.
6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 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 Timothy 4: 6-8 (NKJV)
These words were not spoken out of self-confidence or a sense of personal achievement. They came from a man who appreciated that the grace and mercy of God was able to turn a weakling to a champion; birth a saint out of a sinner and create a man of Faith form a murderer. Paul understood that it was God who helped him all the way in running the Christian race. His words expressed his dependence on Jesus Christ.
15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 1 Timothy 1:5 (NKJV)
13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)
For us to appreciate Paul’s perspective on the Grace of God, we must first learn a bit about his life.
Saul of Tarsus, as he was formerly known, was a Roman citizen, a learned man who was passionate about Judaism and was willing to kill for its cause. He was known to have killed approximately 100,000 Christians. After he encountered Jesus on his way to Damascus, he became an apostle of Christ who taught the gospel in the first century world.
Paul’s life undertook a sudden turnaround after his conversion. He suffered persecution for the same gospel that he persecuted hundreds of thousands for.
So when he wrote to Timothy about “fighting the good fight”, Paul was stating how he couldn’t give up on the vision God had given to him and how important it was to “finish well.”
In the process of pursuing the vision God has placed in your heart be determined just like Apostle Paul to fight, run and finish well. Your vision may be a beautiful marriage, raising Godly children or advancing in your career or business; know that the journey would be long and reaching that goal may take longer than expected but……fight, run and finish.
Things worthy of note
- Every dream that is worth pursuing would cost you something.
- You will need help form others as you run your race.
- Don’t quit because in the very end you will win.
Lastly, remember that God has good plans and a great future for you. Fight the good fight of faith, run to the end and finish well.
Photo Credit: Paul the Apostle (courtesy of Wikipedia.com)