December 22, Sunday

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“Holding Out to the End”

1 Corinthians 1:4-9 

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— 6 God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Recently, the New York City Marathon happened. Do you know what the fastest race time was? Two hours and 8 minutes. (Some days, it takes that much time to get out of the house!)  By contrast, do you know what the slowest race time was? While official times get cut off after a certain point, it is reported that some stick it out to the end with a 10-11 hour finish! 

This accounts for why, when a good friend of mine was going home after a long day at church, roads were still closed off as the marathoners were still en route to the finish line. While there were runners still left, just as impressively were there onlookers still cheering them on. Though the last of the marathoners were nowhere close to the ability or the prowess of the earliest finishers, people were still dedicated to encouraging them to press on! 

My friend texted me that she was reminded in this moment about God, who continues to entreat us to finish and who does not give up on us even when we are slow. To this, I responded: yes, and more! He is better than a cheerleader watching us from afar! The Lord our God is faithful to His people, and better than our own abilities (or lack of abilities), He is always at our side. He is not just observing on the sidelines but is the very power behind our ability to persevere – He carries us and is the one who ensures we will make it across the finish line.

Paul tells us that, in this life, the end goal and the finish line of our lives is to stand firm until the return of Christ. We are aiming to be found faithful on that day. But even as we orient ourselves towards being found holy and blameless that day, He is the one who also sustains us and keeps us on course. 

Brother and sister, I don’t know where you are in the marathon of your spiritual life today, whether you feel nimble or weighed down and far behind. But I encourage you to draw strength not from yourself but from Him. Our ability to “make it to the end” rests in His faithful and capable hands. We do not have to be disheartened that we may not be the fastest or strongest as we continue on the course set before us. Let’s put ourselves in His hands and trust in His power to keep us steady for that day. He will sustain us through to the end!

Prayer: Father, thank You that have loved us and called us Your own. Thank You for Your unending faithfulness in our lives. Lord, we trust You to keep us and to sustain us. Help us to draw from Your unending power and rest in knowing that You have completed the work and will complete Your work in us. 

Bible Reading for Today: Luke 6

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