FROM THE PASTOR’S DESK
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the Righteous Judge will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for His appearing. II Timothy 4:7-8
This past August I had the opportunity to run in the “Golden Valley Rally Ice Cream Run.” It was a nice, hot North Dakota summer afternoon, so I drank lots of water before the race. All that extra water sloshing around caused me to feel more like a water balloon than a runner; never-the-less I was excited to finish the race. It must have been the ice cream prize waiting for me at the finish line that kept me going. J
When I read God’s Word, I discover that the apostle Paul spoke of running, finishing a race and receiving the prize. Paul’s race was not a “Rome Rally Ice Cream Run” but a spiritual race. Paul’s race was that of proclaiming fully the message (the gospel of Jesus Christ) which the Lord gave him the strength to accomplish, as he states in II Timothy 4:17.
The apostle Paul ran a hard race on his missionary journeys delivering the good news of Jesus Christ to people. In fact, because of other “race running” people like Paul we took have benefitted because someone carried the gospel of Jesus to us here in North Dakota.
Just like I received my prize (ice cream) at the end of the Golden Valley Rally Ice Cream Run, Paul also received his prize. Paul says that his prize, “…is in store for me the crown of righteousness.” That crown is not something that he produced but a crown of righteousness that Jesus, the Righteous Judge will award to him. The good news for us is that this crown of righteousness is also available to “all who have longed for His appearing.”
The encouragement given to us in the Word is to put on your spiritual “running shoes” and finish the race, keep the faith (in Jesus). As you run through life, keep on sharing the good news of Jesus with the strength that He gives, finish the race and receive your prize from the hand of Jesus.
On your mark, get set, go!