Game Day Sunday

August 7-11


A Faithful Finish

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. –  2 Timothy 4:6-7 (ESV)

Dr. Warren Wiersbe has a book entitled “Too Soon To Quit.” In this book, he reviews the lives of men and women of the Bible who could easily have “thrown in the towel” but didn’t. As V.R. Edman said, “It is always too soon to quit.” Indeed, when you’re working for Jesus, it’s always too soon to quit! And remember that perseverance comes not only from a strong will but also from a strong won’t.

In 2 Timothy 4:6-7, the Apostle Paul is nearing the end of his life and praising God that he has been able to finish the race of faith well. Paul has literally poured out his life in ministry to God. The original Greek wording makes it clear that he is emphasizing perseverance rather than triumph. Paul says that he has fought, not that he is victorious. He says that he has finished the course, not that he has beaten everyone else. This review of his ministry is meant to encourage Timothy, for one day he too will be poured out as a drink offering.


If you knew you were nearing the end of your life, would you be able to say you have poured yourself into serving the Lord? What would it take for you to change in order to persevere until the end?


Praise God for bringing you this far on your faith journey. Ask God to give you what you need to finish well.


A Faithful Struggle

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:6-7 (ESV)

There is a book written by Kenneth Macksey titled “Why the Germans Lose at War.” One German error, as all the world now knows, was that Britain broke the German codes. Thus the British knew in advance what the Germans were going to do. The Nazis made the blunder of believing their codes to be unbreakable. Their scientists and code experts were in their eyes the best, and could not be broken by British mathematicians. Macksey says, “Thus the Germans fatally committed the military sin of despising the enemy.” They had “arrogant confidence in the infallibility of their superior genius compared with other peoples.”

The Germans did not fight a good fight. Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight.” This good fight is better translated as a good struggle. The idea is not that of armed conflict but that of effort, struggle, strife, and contention. No opponent is mentioned because Paul is not struggling against another being. His ministry itself is the struggle. The Apostle Paul put in the energy and effort needed for serving God and the church so that he could finish well.


What areas of life do you put the most “struggle” into? Would you say you are fighting a “good fight” of faith?


Thank God for the confidence you have that He will win the victory in the end. Ask God to give you the strength to fight the fight of faith well.


A Faithful Race

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:6-7 (ESV)

Runner’s World told the story of Beth Anne DeCiantis’s attempt to qualify for the 1992 Olympic Trials marathon. A female runner must complete the 26-mile, 385-yard race in less than two hours, 45 minutes to compete at the Olympic Trials. Beth started strong but began having trouble around mile 23. She reached the final straightaway at 2:43, with just two minutes left to qualify. Two hundred yards from the finish, she stumbled and fell. Dazed, she stayed down for twenty seconds. The crowd yelled, “Get up!” The clock was ticking–2:44, less than a minute to go. Beth Anne staggered to her feet and began walking. Five yards short of the finish, with 10 seconds to go, she fell again. She began to crawl, the crowd cheering her on, and crossed the finish line on her hands and knees. Her time? Two hours, 44 minutes, 57 seconds.

Paul is nearing the end of his race and can see the finish line in 2 Timothy 4:6-7. The term race here has been used for a footrace. Paul is not claiming victory in the sense that he has outpaced all of the opposition. The phrase states that he has completed the course, or finished. The point is that there is no race left to run, not that Paul has run faster, harder, and more bravely than anyone else. His course is complete or finished.


How did Coach Richt’s testimony inspire you?  Read Hebrews 12:1. Who has inspired you by how well they finished the race?


Praise God for the heroes of the faith in your life who have inspired you to run the race of faith well. Ask God to make clear the path He wants you running.


A Faithful Purpose

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. – 2 Timothy 4:6-7 (ESV)

One of golf’s immortal moments came when a Scotchman demonstrated the new game to President Ulysses Grant. Carefully placing the ball on the tee, he took a mighty swing. The club hit the turf and scattered dirt all over the President’s beard and surrounding vicinity, while the ball placidly waited on the tee. Again the Scotchman swung, and again he missed. Our President waited patiently through six tries and then quietly stated, “There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball.” (Campus Life)

The Apostle Paul had a clear purpose and remained faithful to his purpose until he died. Paul is referring to the sum total of the Christian religion when he says, “I have kept the faith.” Paul here claims to have kept or guarded this faith until the end. His ministry has always been a defense of the gospel as much as it has been a proclamation of that same gospel. Paul writes in Philippians 1:21, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” His purpose was to glory Jesus as long as he lived in every way he could.


How did Coach Richt see his purpose as a coach and his purpose as a Christian combined? How can you use your purpose as a Christian in your everyday life?


Praise God for the unchanging truths and promises of your Christian faith. Ask God to show you how you can make your faith more a part of your everyday living.


A Future Crown

Henceforth 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. – 2 Timothy 4:8 (ESV)

Crowns have always been the sign of authority and Kingship. Charlemagne, whom historians say should deserve to be called “great” above all others, wore an octagonal crown. Each of the eight sides was a plaque of gold, and each plaque was studded with emeralds, sapphires, and pearls. Richard the Lion-Hearted had a crown so heavy that two Earls had to stand, one on either side, to hold his head. The crown that Queen Elizabeth wore was worth $20 million plus. Edward II once owned nine crowns. Put them all together, from all of Europe and from the archives of the East, all of them are but trinkets compared to Christ’s crown.

The Apostle Paul knew the crown that awaited him was already laid up, secured, and reserved for him in heaven. This crown was not the ruler’s crown worn by the king, but the victor’s crown given to those who finish. This crown was a crown of righteousness given to all those who have placed their faith in Jesus.


At the moment of conversion, we are declared to be righteous by God’s grace through faith in Christ. Yet we do not experience complete righteousness while we remain trapped in cursed flesh. Only after we ascend into heaven will we receive God’s complete gift of righteousness.


Thank God for the promise of complete righteousness to come with your glorified body in heaven. Ask God to continue to sanctify your life and set you apart for His service as long as you are here on earth.