Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Finishing Well (Joe Widick)

Again we are blessed this evening by thoughts from my good friend who is a good friend of many of you, Joe Widick. Please keep praying for me in Vietnam!
I once read a story about a bloodhound that was doing what bloodhounds do—track. As the story went, the bloodhound started out chasing a white-tail deer but as fate would have it a red fox crossed his path, so the bloodhound veered off and began chasing the fox instead. The chase continued until a rabbit came on the scene and crossed in front of the bloodhound causing the bloodhound to once again change direction. Finally a little field mouse came across the path and the old blood hound and the hound began to chase the little mouse into his hole. The hound, which had begun his hunt on the trail of a magnificent deer, ended up watching a mouse hole!

Most who read this simple story would simply stop and laugh say how foolish the hound was. He was on the trail of a magnificent deed but would up peering into a mouse hole. If we stop to think, and are honest with ourselves, we realize that often we too are easily distracted. At times we may even be sidetracked from following Christ. It is so easy for most of us to start off well, but then run after other things that cross our paths. I started this article when I came across the story of the hound. As brief as the article is, I stopped once to go to the doctor, stopped again to talk to someone, and I even stopped a third time to make coffee.

Take a moment to consider the words of the apostle Paul. See what he is saying as he tells Timothy to focus on the real purpose of his life and ministry. (II Timothy 1:6-13; 2:1-2,22-26; 3:14-17). Timothy was urged to tell others about Christ and to warn them not to turn aside. As I continued to think about this challenge I had to reflect on the past week. One week ago we were blessed to have Brother Jerry Tallman speak to us about something we all know about, yet so many times we fail to share the story of Jesus with others. Think about your Christian walk! If you are like most, becoming a Christian was an important step to take. There was an air of excitement about your decision. Has this old world worn you down and caused you to lose focus on things that are really important. Do you think that just maybe you might not “finish well.” The values of this world can easily influence us, tempting us to despise “sound doctrine” and accept what is false. So we need to know and proclaim God’s word, persevere through hardships and always keep the faith. With God’s help, you and I can keep our eyes on Christ, the cross that He went to and the sacrifice He made. As we do this it will help you and I to stay close to Him and finish well. We can all remember that if finishing well is our goal, we can’t turn our back on Christ if we keep our eyes on Him. One day at a time is my goal. To wake up each morning and focus on what is really important. To keep before me the life of Christ as an example for the way I need to live. With God’s help, I believe I will be able to cross the finish line.

God bless,
Luke 18:1

E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

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