We may not have had a great start in life. But we can finish strong. That’s what really counts.
When my son was around 7 years old he had a terrible accident. He was running across the street within our colony when a fully loaded car went over his foot.
As he grew up he loved sports and kept injuring his weak foot
One day he came home with a bronze medal. I could not believe my ears when he said it was for running a Marathon
My daughter narrated that a number of people ran and he was pretty much way behind. The two who came first and second winning the gold and silver finished off far ahead of him. He kept running.Everyone else dropped off. The whole school was cheering for him…he went on till he crossed the finish line.
He was probably the weakest person to start, he started slow but finished strong.
When we are on this journey of discipleship it is not the start that matters, it is not our capability that matters, but how well we are able to persevere and finish the race.
We will look at three aspects:
- Maintain Faith
- Move Forward
- Maintain Focus
What the Bible says
Luke 14:29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
Heb 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
What the Bible says
Heb 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. 4 In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. …7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
Hebrews 12:1 talks of the great “cloud of witnesses” – referring to the stalwarts in the Hall of Faith referred in Hebrews 11 – the biblical fathers of our faith.,,cheering us on.
It then goes on to tell us to throw aside every weight – everthing that hinders us – our own perceptions and other external constraints.
The author of Hebrews tells us to keep moving forward – “with perseverence”.
It is not only a race for life it is a lifelong race. Many of us have been in this race. What do we do when crisis hits?
We may pause. Take a break. Rest awhile. But then we need to keep on going.
There are three traps that can get us down.
- The loneliness trap
- The rejection trap
- The quitting trap
Back in 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their two-year-old son from Sweden to the heart of Africa-to what was then called the Belgian Congo. When Svea was struck with malaria and died after giving birth to her daughter, David fell prey to all these traps.
He was angry with God and left the mission field and gave his daughter up for adoption.
Decades later, his now grown daughter, found out that virtually the entire village her parents had visited had come to know the Lord through the witness of the one boy her mother had brought to Christ.
She searches for and rushes to her father, now at his deathbed and brings him back to the faith.
For Christ, no effort is wasted!
Paul tells the Corinthians “therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, abundant always abounding in the work of the lord knowing that in the lord your labour is not in vain” 1 Corinthians 15:58
The secret of maintaining focus as per Hebrews is to “fix our eyes on Jesus” who will perfect our faith.
A young boy Willie who was kidnapped from outside his Atlanta home was freed after he annoyed his kidnapper by singing a gospel song for three straight hours.
“He opened the door and threw me out,” the boy said.
- Share how God took you through a major crisis in your life. Did it strengthen or weaken your ministry?
- Discuss how you plan to maintain focus in your life and fulfil your mission as a team.
- Plan, as a team to creatively present your strategy and mission to the group..the next session.