Salvation is the starting line…
“It is, however, not an end, but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead. That is where we begin, I say, but where we stop, no man has yet discovered...” (A.W. Tozer 14, The Pursuit of God)
“We want mature Christians in the army of Christ, to play the part of veterans, to inspire the rest with coolness, courage, and steadfastness; for if the whole army is made up of raw recruits the tendency will be for them to waver when the onslaught is fiercer than usual. The old guard, the men who have breathed smoke and eaten fire before, do not waver when the battle rages like a tempest, they can die but they cannot surrender. When they hear the cry of "Forward," they may not rush to the front so nimbly as the younger soldiers, but they drag up the heavy artillery, and their advance once made is secure. They do not reel when the shots fly thick, but still hold their own, for they remember former fights when Jehovah covered their heads” (Charles Spurgeon, from "Ripe Fruit," a sermon preached 14 August 1870 at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, London).
14”so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…” (Eph. 4:14-16)
I’ll never forget a conversation I had with my mother over the phone one day while I was attending boarding school in Africa. My siblings and I would travel hundreds of miles away from home for three months at a time without seeing our parents. During one such three month stretch I was tired, homesick, and ready to just let gravity slumped against momentum get me across the finish line of the school year. The phone connection between countries was poor, but I could still make out her words. “Josh,” my mom said, “finish well.”
In much the same way, the question, once you’ve started a relationship with Jesus, is not whether or not you will finish it. What God starts, He always finishes. Instead, the question becomes how you will finish it. ‘Follow hard after God’ and you too can finish the marathon of life among the ranks of those ‘smoke- breathing, fire-eating veterans’ of God’s Kingdom. Start strong, but more importantly -- finish well.Ready, Set… GO!