Friday, November 25, 2011

November 25, 2011 … Finishing the Race

Passage of the Day: Ephesians 5: 15 - 16 [highlight verse in bold/underlined] …
15 Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

My Journal for Today: Returning to Ephesians 5: 15 – 16 this morning, this month my devotional time with God, with John MacArthur as my biblical shepherd in Strength for Today, has focused on finding the mind of God (i.e., searching for Godly wisdom) and then applying that wisdom to my life in these perilous times in which we live as Christians. In Acts 20: 24, Paul is attributed by Luke to have written to Christians, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.” Note that Paul saw himself and other Christians to have a finite, God-led, course in life, and in the time he was given, Paul felt that his Christian witness to Christ’s gospel was of utmost importance. And that is why Paul’s exhortation in Ephesians 5: 15-16 becomes so pertinent to us today … yes, even critical.

We live in a most challenging era of history; but 1st Century Christians felt that way as well. In all eras of time, human lives in this fallen world have been tinged by evil and social upheaval. So, in these perilous times in which God has allowed us to live, we must do all we can to find God’s will and make the most of our time, giving witness to the next life with Christ. And as we’ve come to understand this month, one of the keys to living a productive and fruitful Christian life is to know God’s will and way through His word.

If we are to follow Christ’s command [in Matt. 5: 16] and shine His light in the world with Godly living for all to see our Father in Heaven, we must be able to say, at the end of our allotted time on this earth, that we have crowns of righteousness waiting for us in Heaven. So I have to ask myself, “Can I say the following, as Paul did to Timothy?” [see 2nd Tim. 4: 7 – 8] … “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.”

And I have found that it is WISE for me to do a periodic inventory of my values; and then to analyze seriously how I’m using my time to fulfill what God has for my life which will shine His light and glorify God. In other words, are we all walking the worthy walk for Christ (see Eph. 4: 1 – 3)?

That is our challenge … today, tomorrow, and always.

My Prayer Today: Help me, Lord, to be all I can be for You. Amen

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