Finishing Well

Finishing Well is more than a title to a post. It is also an important tagline for my running blog which I encourage you to visit, read, comment, and follow. You will find it at

I cannot help but think about such matters as how I live and represent Christ in my life in my older years and in these last days, these perilous days as the Apostle Paul describes them. In fact, the tagline is based upon the Apostle Paul’s word in 2nd Timothy chapter 4, as he was reflecting on his life and ministry shortly before he was to be put to death. Realizing that he was about to be offered up to the sword, he wrote that he fought a good fight and had finished the course of his life, always keeping the faith.

And while we do not find these exact words, certainly the sentiment and thoughtfulness of such words were in Samson’s mind, bound and blinded at the end of his life. He was brought out as a spectacle of sport for the heathen Philistines, who reveled in their supposed victory over the strength of Samson and the God of Israel. After much celebratory partying and drinking, the Philistines, before the image of their false god, Dagon, brought Samson out to make sport of him.

The spectacle of the Philistines reminds me of the wicked of the world, who right now are reveling in their so-called victories and achievements, setting the world upside down as around the globe, society pridefully glees in their sin, calling evil good and good evil. And while it appears that things are really grim both in Samson’s day and our day, we must remember whom we serve.

God is not mocked, and it is he who will in the end have the final say in all matters. It is God, who for the time being, allows the arrogance of people to reign unchecked and unthrottled, their viciousness and madness reveling in sight of their own false gods of this day and age.

But friends, do not lose heart. God hasn’t forgotten his people and God still loves the world.

And God will deal severely with the godless who persecute his people and who stand on the world stage and mock him openly.

The Bible states that within the building where Samson was brought, it was filled with people, both men, and women, including all the Lords of the Philistines. The number was about 3000 people that laughed and cajoled, as Samson was brought out.

I would like you for a moment now, to consider the prayer of Samson.

And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. Judges 16:28

This was a man of God, with a shaky track record of frequently falling short in the eyes of God, and yet, a man of God, with a purpose yet to be fulfilled. And a grand purpose indeed. And after having his hands placed upon the two main pillars which held up the roof, Samson said to God, “Let me die with the Philistines,” as the pillars buckled on his newly infused strength of God and killed them all.

We all have a purpose in life and we are all in the race of the Christian life as is born out in Hebrews 12, somewhere allow the road. We have all fallen short, some more often than others. Nevertheless, by the grace of God, we can and we should put all that aside, seeking the Lord’s strength in us so that we, like Paul and Samson can finish well and finish strong.

So come and visit my blog, Run the Cross, and perhaps get inspired to finish well and strong for the Lord.

Living Through Extremes

Undoubtedly, if a person lives long enough, there will be opportunities and experiences in life that will thrust, often without saying so or control, our lives through extremes in our lives. Those feasts or famine, life or death contrasts are some of the most difficult times of our lives. They are if we had the opportunity to vote on the matter, the times of our lives we would most likely choose to avoid at all costs. And yet, they come.

The apostle Paul was a prisoner of Rome when he wrote the letter to the Philippians and he spoke of such moments in his life in chapter 4 verses 11 through 13. It is in those verses that he spoke of the pendulum of life swinging back and forth between need and abundance, hunger or satisfaction, having plenty, and having nothing.

But through the various contrasts of his life, he learned how to remain steady…how to be consistent…how to be content in whatever circumstance he found himself. Even then, he was living through such a contrast of life, having lost his physical freedom, but only his physical freedom, for there was no way that Rome or any other enemy could bind and chain the freedom that he had in Christ. There, in Rome, he remained with the constant companionship of his Roman guard, bound to him through Roman iron. But yet, there was no closer companionship than Christ himself as Paul lived through the reality of his desires found in Philippians 3:10…knowing the Lord in such a deep and desirous way and sharing in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering.

Paul learned, the text says in verse 11, to be content in whatever state he would find himself. He had learned to live through the extremes of life by the strength of the Lord (in verse 13). When Paul wrote, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” he told us that the Lord would strengthen and sustain him through the extremes of his life. It is the Lord’s hand upon him, though he remained under the chains and the watchful eye of Rome. It was the Lord who would bring him through life, whether need or abundance, hunger or satisfaction, having plenty or nothing.

We have all gone through such extremes in life, but have we done so with the contentment that Paul wrote about? Have we rested in our Lord as our world has come crashing down upon us or have we crashed along with it?

Paul learned to remain content through whatever came his way, and it is not too late for any of us to learn the same vital truth as we cast all our care upon Him, for he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7). And we are running out of time to learn such lessons. Not only are our worlds about to come crashing down upon us all, but the whole world is also about to fall into chaos as the Day of the Lord approaches.

And while we, as the church, the bride of Christ, will not be going through God’s wrath upon the earth, the times ahead, leading up to the days of Tribulation will be challenging indeed. Time to learn a lesson of contentment.

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