[ecko_quote source="2 Timothy 4:7"] have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith[/ecko_quote]
I can truly say it was a privilege to attend uncle Rama Rao Bathula’s (also known as Christudas and Bible Ramarao) funeral service last weekend. The service went really well, and every testimony was truly anointed, and the Word of God was just power-packed & challenging. The Bible states that “The memory of the righteous is blessed”- Proverbs 10:7; therefore, we are truly blessed to remember uncle Christudas “stalwart and hero of faith”. I believe most would agree with my assertion. This man finished his difficult and rugged race considering his family situation in raising two young children without his spouse. I could see his commitment and consistency in his Christian walk which enabled him to complete his race faithfully.
There is much satisfaction in finishing something you have begun. The success of a race is determined not only by how well you begin but also by how well you end. Many athletes can begin a race impressively, but if they stumble or are injured or lack the stamina to finish, their good start is useless. Paul rejoiced that he had not only begun the race, but he had also finished it. His prize was a robust faith in God and a life filled with God’s powerful presence.
Christian life is not easy. Some mistakenly assume that once they become children of God, their struggles are over. Many Christians begin their walk with Christ enthusiastically; but as the pressure mounts, they start to lose heart and abandon their pilgrimage.
Paul described his Christian life as a battle. There were times when he struggled, and only through perseverance could he continue on. It may surprise us to know that the great apostle had to struggle at times to be faithful to God. Paul faced persecution, misunderstanding, betrayal and death threats. His Christian life was anything but easy, yet he persevered.
Your faith in God is not proven by beginning the race but by enduring till the finish. Publicly announcing your commitment to Christ in your church does not compare with a lifetime of devotion to His cause. Use Apostle Paul as your model. Live your life in such a way that you can one day conclude, I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith”.
[Image Source: http://jonah.uec.nz/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/fight-the-good-fight-of-faith.jpg]
Pastor Jonah Ravinder- United Telugu Church - Auckland, New Zealand; Henry and Richard Blackby