Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

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

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