Daily email Number 171 – from the Vicar

Welcome to Monday.
Just 3 verses today from the Bible as we read 2 Timothy Chapter 4 verses 6 to 8.
I heard a really helpful talk recently where the speaker suggested there are 3 short phrases here that could be the apostle’s epitaph, the words put on his gravestone.  As I have said previously, and as it says in the text here (v.6) Paul feels the end is near as he lies in prison with execution imminent.
‘I have fought the good fight,
I have finished the race,
I have kept the faith.’  (v.7)
Very simple, very profound, and very challenging.  Could we say the same?  
3 things to encourage us as we ponder that question.
Firstly, if you are still a Christian as you read this, however weak and ineffectual you sometimes might feel, (and I know that feeling), then you are still in the fight and still in the race, so keep going today.
Secondly, the prize is very great, the crown of righteousness (v.8), it is really worth it, so keep going today.
Thirdly, you are not the only one who has a stake in this, the Lord Himself, has called you to know Him, He has promised that the work He has started He will continue to completion (Philippians Ch.1 v.6), He will help you in the fight and in the race, so keep going today.
I’m reminded of the words of the old hymn, based on the words of this passage, which brilliantly brings together the partnership that we have with the Lord, we play our part and He will play His.
Fight the good fight with all thy might;
Christ is thy strength, and Christ thy right.
Lay hold on life, and it shall be
thy joy and crown eternally.
 
Run the straight race through God’s good grace,
lift up thine eyes and seek His face;
life with its path before thee lies;
Christ is the way, and Christ the prize.
 
Cast care aside, lean on thy guide,
His boundless mercy will provide;
lean, and thy trusting soul shall prove
Christ is thy life, and Christ thy love.
In our extended Church address list, we pray today for,
– Pat and Catherine
– Jotham and Jethro
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