Scripture Reading — 2 Timothy 4:6-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7 —
Every journey has a beginning and an end. Though our life with Christ will never end, we know that our journey on this earth is not going to last forever. One day we will stand in our Creator's presence.
Today we are looking at Paul's preparations for this important meeting. His thoughts about the end of his life on earth are filled with stirring emotion and striking imagery. He is honest with us in his sadness, just as he is strong in his Christian hope.
When Paul reflects on his years as Christ's apostle, it may surprise us that he uses language from the sports world. Paul says he has successfully finished the race, observed all the rules--the teachings of Christ. He has kept his faith, and now he is ready to accept his award from the Judge--a beautiful crown of righteousness.
Throughout his ministry Paul trusted his Savior. He is doing the same as he nears the end of his spiritual pilgrimage on this earth and looks forward to a new adventure in God's presence.
When our journey runs its course, will we be able to say we have fought the good fight and kept the faith? Will we be awarded the crown of righteousness? God's grace is leading us every day, and only by this grace can we be faithful, credited with Jesus' righteousness and crowned to live in his presence forever.
Father, every hour on this earth is a preparation for meeting you. Lead us always in your ways, and make us worthy in Christ to re?ceive your crown of righteousness. Amen.