How committed are you, to finishing strong?
Quote: Where you start is not nearly as important as where you finish
It is my privilege tonight, on the very last day of 2017, to share the truth of God’s word with you, on the topic of: Continuing on the foundation that was laid in 2017 through various teachings and preachers from this pulpit.
And how committed you are, to finishing strong… not only as we enter the last hour of 2017, but the race that is set out before us (Heb 12:1 Amp)
(Show Video Clip of John Steven Akhari)
Tonight I would like to share with you that not even a dislocated knee, or an injured shoulder would stop John Steven Akhwari from finishing the race. He was committed to finishing strong because he was focused & motivated.
He said in his own words “My country did not send me 5000 miles to just enter the race but they’ve send me 5000 miles to finish the race”.
I’ve used this analogy in a previous sermon a few years ago, but it has such an impact on my life and the memory of that event in 1968 flooded my thoughts as I prepared for tonight.
But there is a lesson to be learned from this, ‘never say die’ athlete.
You see Church, he had all the ‘legitimate’ reasons to quit, to give up, to throw in the towel, without any embarrassment but this marathoner was determined, he had his mind set on the finishing line, and by completing the race over an hour after the winner, John Steven Akhari became the greatest “last place finisher” in the history of Olympic marathons.
And He also made sure that his name will be forever remembered as a person who was committed, to finishing strong. He left a lasting legacy.
Another analogy or comparison that I would like to use tonight, happened a few years ago and some of you may be familiar with this story…
The day was April 15th 2013… the event was the Boston marathon.
A few meter from the finish line at around 2:49pm, two home made bombs exploded, killing 3 people, injuring several hundred people including 16 people who lost limbs.
The race was stopped as police and security forces and medics attended to the chaos… and that is what many of us will remember about the 2013 Boston marathon.
But in my research on the matter and preparing for this sermon, I discovered an inspirational fact, that I never knew anything about.
A month later, on May 25th 2013, around 3000 athletes, who could not finish, and bombing victims, gathered in Boston to complete their marathon. And yes they did…You see Church, these athletes were determined, focussed and committed to finishing strong.
They all had “winners-mentalities” they were goal-focussed and conquerors against all odds. Can this be said about you, church?
And this is exactly how we as believers, as Christians should be, Church.
We should and must have the mind set of an endurer. To be committed, to overcome, to conquer to succeed, to accomplish to finish strong.
“Let us run with perseverance (persistence) the race that is marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus (our aim or target) who is the author and the finisher of our faith.” Heb 12:1
May I encourage you tonight church with this, that it is on God’s heart that you should not only start the race, or start strong, but that you should also finish strong.
1 Tim 6:12 – Paul to Timothy
In this verse or even from vs 11-21, the Apostle Paul, gave Timothy stern instruction to:
1) maintain / keep his testimony
2) maintain / keep your faith
3) fight for what is fair and right
4) guard against false doctrine and sin
And this is my encouragement to you as well church, visitors.
Maintain your testimony and your faith, fight for what is true, noble and right and guard against false doctrine and sin. For this is what will cause you not to finish strong, not to endure, not to accomplish.
But if you do apply these four Biblical principles in your life, you will be able to echo the words of the Apostle Paul to Timothy in 2 Tim 4:7 (Amp)
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.”
May the truth of God’s word continue to work in all our hearts, as we approach the end of 2017 and may we commit ourselves to not only finish this year on a “high” but also the race of life in Jesus name, Amen.