Summary: God helps us run the race before us. Are you planning on finishing the race of life well? With God's help you can.
The Last Lap by Steve Keeler
2 Timothy 4:7-8; "I have fought the good fight, I have
finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future
there is laid up 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 loved His appearing."
People are remembered for how they finish their
lives, their relationships, their ministry. When life gets
tough and it seems we can't or won't make it, God
helps us run the race before us. Are you planning on
finishing the race of life well? With God's help you can.
Folks the race I'm speaking of is our life with Jesus
Christ and I want you to know that the last lap is as
important as the first lap. You can run the race but you
must get through the last lap to finish well.
The bible is full with people who finished that race
badly: In 2 Chronicles 24:1 -2 We are told of Joash and
how he began so well. Joash was only seven year old
when he became king and held that position for 40
years. 2 Chronicles 24:2 says; "Joash did that which
was right in the sight of the LORD..."
He restored the temple and eliminated fifteen years of
idol worship from Jerusalem. Yet as he approached the
end of the race he fell. His faithful guardian had passed
away at the age of 130 and Joash began to listen to
those who gave him ill advise.
The people abandoned the temple and began to
worship idols again and when a Zechariah the son of
Joash's guardian was sent to them by the Spirit of God
to tell them to return to God, Joash had him stoned in
the courtyard of the temple.
As long as he had his faithful guardian Joash stayed on
the correct path but as soon as he died Joash was led
astray at the good old age of thirty. I would like to
believe that at 30 he was able to make decisions for
himself but he wasn't.
Joash spent much energy in building a external temple.
He was filled with zeal for a good cause but he
neglected to build his inner temple and fortify himself
against the devil.
It is during the last lap when the going becomes hard,
when the body is in pain, when the legs are weak and
beg for relief that it is easy to follow the advice of those
who say quit.
But I say we must persevere in the midst of hardship;
go to God and seek his guidance. Keep far from those
who would encourage you to give up your race and
cling to those who encourage you to run well.
In 1 kings, we are told about King Asa. Asa was king
for 41 years and in 1 Kings 15:11-14 we read; "Asa did
what was right in the sight of the Lord, like David his
father. He also put away the male cult prostitutes from
the land and removed all the idols which his fathers
had made. He also removed Maacah his mother from
being queen mother, because she had made a horrid
image as an Asherah; and Asa cut down her horrid
image and burned it at the brook Kidron. But the high
places were not taken away; nevertheless the heart of
Asa was wholly devoted to the Lord all his days."
King Asa began his race powerfully;
He tore down pagan altars and sacred pillars;
He removed his grandmother from being Queen and
He destroyed her idol
He fortified his cities;
He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of
their fathers, and to obey His law.
We cannot ask for a more impressive way to begin
ones race. Even his mother felt his zeal; her idol she
had built was broken down and burned.
Asa was on fire for the Lord. Oh that each of us had
such zeal such passion for our God.
The story continues in 2 Chronicles
When the Ethiopians came up against him, with an
army of one million men and 300 chariots, listen to Asa
in 2 Chronicles 14:11; "Lord, there is no one besides
You to help in the battle between the powerful and
those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our
God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come
against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not
man prevail against You."
So the Lord defeated the Ethiopians using Asa and the
army of Judah.
Asa and his army were out numbered 2 to 1 but Asa
we not going to stand for anyone offending God and