I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 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.
— 2 Timothy 4:7-8
In the original Olympic Games, the Greeks had a race that was very unique. In this race, each competitor was given a torch which was lit. The runners would then race against one another holding the lit torches.
This is where the twist came in. The winner of the race wasn’t the one who crossed the finish line first. No, the winner was the one who crossed first with his torch still lit.
Like those athletes, we as believers endeavor to run the race of life not simply trying to be the fastest. But we strive to finish with our torches still lit. That’s because it’s one thing to finish the race, but it’s another to also keep the flame of faith lit and burning brightly for Jesus Christ the entire way.
That was the goal the apostle Paul had as he wrote today’s passage in what he presumed to be his final days. Not only was he approaching the end of his race. He had kept the faith as he labored for the gospel up until his final breath.
Finish the race. But also keep the faith. When you have that kind of commitment to finishing well, you can be sure your heavenly rewards will be wonderful beyond words!
Pray and ask God to help you live boldly for Him until the day He calls you home!
Questions for Thought
Why do you think people are often tempted to let their flames burn out as they get closer to the end of their race?
As each of us, young and old, draw nearer to the day when we’ll be at home with the Lord, how can we be sure we’ll keep our flames lit until that day?