New Year, New You. 3 Tips to starting well. (2 Tim 4:1-8, 1 Cor 9:24-27, 2 Cor 4:13-14)

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Today is the 14th of January 2018. Can you believe we are already 2 weeks into 2018. Before we know it, it will be this time next year. Another year will come and another year will go but will have anything changed? Or will it be the same old same old mixed in with regret, missed opportunities, and wasted potential? As the novelty of New Year celebrations fade, I wonder if the motivation and zeal to change our lives from this new start has faded as well.

No matter how well we may have started the year, what counts is how we finish the year. You may get off to a flying start but if you don’t finish the race then what does it matter? You don’t get a prize for starting the race. The ultimate goal is not to start well but to finish well. And the truth is you may stumble at the start, you may stumble in the middle, and you may stumble at every single point, but so long as you keep going and get there in the end then that is all that matters.

The Apostle Paul was able to say ‘I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith’ (2 Tim 4:6-8). There was not a shadow of doubt in his mind or in his heart. He made it to the end. He did it. He got there.

But this was by no means easy. Blood, sweat and tears every single day – and it was all worth it. For his prize was a crown that never fades. (Bible verse) It was the crown of righteousness as one approved by the righteous Lord himself. (Bible verse) That is what is at stake here. Much more than just right behaviours but this crown of righteousness is all about right relationships. Righteous relationships with man, and a righteous relationship with God. And if you are right with God then this will stretch into all eternity. It is no surprise then that the Apostle Paul would be so dedicated, deliberate and disciplined in his life.

Are you fighting for righteousness? Are you pursuing righteousness? Are you believing in the righteous one who is the author and perfecter of our faith?

It is most sobering to realise that throughout church history and even amongst our congregation at ESCCC there are and there will be those who have and will profess faith and yet in the course of time, for whatever reason will not continue to fight the good fight, will not finish the race, and will give up the faith. May it not be so for any of us reading this now, that from this day forth, we will all be able to say now and forever, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race and I have kept the faith.

Where will you be this time next year? Where will you be 5 years from now? Where will you be in eternity. To put it quite frankly, you will either die in your sins or you die in the faith and there you will spend eternity. 

Pastor Boon