Monday, February 15, 2010

Going the Distance - Chapter 15

This series was originally posted on In Tandem, a blog for ministry wives. 

Chapter 15 - Finishing the race

In Acts 20:24, Paul stated "I consider my life nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me". Herein lies the model I choose to follow. I want neither to burn out nor rust out. I want to finish the race. (quoting Berkeley, pg 229, emphasis mine)
This quote, which was also in Chapter 1, again appears in Chapter 15 - and it still resonates just as strongly for me. We want to finish well, to be able to say, with the apostle Paul,
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. (2 Tim 4:7)

What then are some of the things that are key to finishing well?
  • we are wise to rest, both the rest of days off and holidays, but also the rest of reflection - time in God's word, prayer, reading, etc. In doing so, we are recognising our dependence on God for all things. One fruit of this is the ability to be unhurried.
  • recognising that our work is unfinished, even though we may complete tasks. Part of this is remembering that the work of ministry is like a relay, many are involved and it involves training others to take over. Ultimately, the work is never completed until the church is gathered around Christ in the new heaven and the new earth.
We are not members of some worldly club or special interest group. We are God's people, drawn by the grace of God to Christ, and sustained by the grace of God until that great Day when Christ and his people will be glorified. This hope will sustain us, and give us the nerve to stand firm. (p239)

And, so:
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1 Cor 15:58)

Some things to think about:
  1. Do you take time to rest and also to reflect in God's word? If not, what is preventing you from doing so?
  2. Do you struggle that the 'work' of ministry is never done? What sustains you?

Next Monday
: Chapter 16 - Justification by faith - a truth that works!

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