Are you a NASCAR or auto racing fan? I’ve watched a few races in my years, but would probably not be described as a true fan, mostly because I don’t have a favorite driver. If I ever came across a race on tv, I wouldn’t usually pay attention till the last few laps, because that pretty much sums up the whole race right there. If someone is going to make a move to win it, its likely in the last couple laps. Obviously, it took a whole race for the winner to get where they ended up, but you don’t always see that till you look back on what happened. How about with people? Do you know anyone who finished their ‘race’ in life well? Maybe they didn’t even know how close to the end they were, but they still lived life to the fullest and didn’t give up? I have a few friends who finished their race well this past year and it was a sad, but joyous time to celebrate their life with friends and family. How does watching these races influence your life?
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister. 1 John 3:10
How do you know that someone is a Christian? They may say they are, but if we are honest, the true test comes in how they live their life. Is there enough evidence in your life to convict you of being what you say you are? Maybe someone said a prayer and accepted Christ as their savior when they were young, but is that a guarantee of salvation, or just a good starting point? Another way to look at it, is to see if there is fruit in your life. Do you demonstrate love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, etc. on a regular basis, and not just Sunday morning? Granted, none of us are perfect, but if we live like the rest of the world 80 percent of the time and put on a good show 20 percent of the time, who are we fooling? But really, the true test of whether we are truly Christians is how we finish the race. We all probably know some folks who started strong, and seemed on fire for God, but when things got tough, or didn’t go their way, they gave up. There are even popular church leaders in the Christian community who seemed to be doing all the right things, then seemed to doubt their faith and walk away from God, or religion, or whatever it was they thought they had. Were they ever really a child of God, or not at all?
Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
When I take a look at my own life, there are times when I have felt fully loved and part of God’s family, and there are times when I felt alienated from it, like I didn’t belong for some reason. But if I just led my faith based on how I felt from day to day, I would start to question it also, because it is just based on how I feel and not on the truth of who God is, and who he called me to be. The true test comes when we face trials, adversity, and challenges to our faith and in our lives and whether or not we still trust in God, even when life doesn’t go the way we want it to. These trials refine us, test our faith, and mold us into who God wants us to be. I’ve been reading a bit about the life of Pete Maravich, who was a bright star in the basketball world for several years, then faded from that. He then questioned a lot about his life and where his worth was found, and eventually became a born-again Christian. He shared his testimony when he had the chance and found his true worth just a few years before he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 40. He may not have gotten off to a very good start, but he finished his race well. I’ve known young people who lived their lives well in less than 18 years, and those that are still going strong after 80. The question is, how will you finish your race, no matter how long it is?
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 20:24
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7
Yours in Christ,