Summary: We need to be pursuing Life’s Journey with an eye to the finish. We are successful in our journey not by finishing first, but by finishing well. So many times we see people who don’t finish well and it hinders them from leaving a legacy of faith to futu
Steps along Life’s Journey
Steps to Finishing Well
What are the steps that lead us to Finishing Well?
Finishing well requires…
Finishing your work (2 Timothy 4:7b)
Faithfulness to Christ (2 Timothy 4:7c)
We are finishing up talking about Life’s Journey this week.
We have been talking about the various steps we encounter along Life’s Journey.
When we look in the Bible, we often see this Journey illustrated as a race.
This race is not so much to finish first as it is to finishing well, to Step across the Finish Line hearing the words “Well done good and faithful servant.”
I want to show you a video of a race from the 2006 Olympics that illustrates how we can run a text book race and finish poorly and all we will be remembered for is the poor finish.
Slide after video
Things can go so well and then go so wrong. In that race the snowboarder lost focus.
If we are going to finish well, it is imperative that we keep our focus.
When we look at the people in the Bible who are part of the story God uses to reveal Himself to us, we see people who
start well and yet finish poorly, (Lot)
who run well and who stumble along the way, (Asaph)
who start poor but finish well (Paul)
Maybe you are here today and have made some poor decisions in your journey or stumbled along the way. I want to encourage you that no matter how you have been doing along life’s journey, it is not too late to finish well.
And for those who have been running the race of life well, I want to encourage you to keep focused on Christ, because you do not want to slip up now and finish poorly.
We just saw in the video how easy it is to run well the whole way and then finish poorly.
Don’t let that be you.
Unfortunately for this snowboarder, this finish will haunt her for the rest of her life.
This morning, we are going to look at one person in the Bible who is a great example of finishing well in Life’s Journey, and that is Paul.
Paul did not start out so well.
He was a persecutor of Christians.
He was even there at the stoning of Stephen, giving his approval to his death.
But the Lord gave him the opportunity to step into Hope and he became a believer in Jesus Christ.
He then took the next steps of faith and continued on in the journey.
He took steps that stood firm when he was arrested and beaten and stoned and
He finished well.
When I was in High School, I was in drama and we had a saying that said, you were only as good as your last act. That is what everyone remembers no matter how poorly or how well you did before.
Paul’s last act was one of faithfulness even as he faced execution from a Roman prison.
He finished well.
Let’s see what we can learn from Paul so we too, might finish well.
Turn with me to 2 Timothy 4:6-8
I want you to hear what Paul says to Timothy as he approached his death. Now I want to read starting in verse 1 so you get a sense of Paul’s priorities and his focus before he talks about the end of his own journey.
4 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
And then he goes on to talk about himself and the end of his Life’s journey and he says,
6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 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.