Winston Churchill is credited with the maxim, “success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts”.
The Apostle Paul reminds us God will render to every man according to his deeds who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory, honor, immortality and eternal life (those who endure, persist, persevere or faint not). Romans 2:6-7
Is it such an oddity to expect that the prize comes at the end of the race, that payday comes at the finish of the project? The runner must cross the finish line, the laborer must continue his work and bring it to completion to enjoy the yield from his harvest.
James 5:7 (KJV)
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
There is great virtue in the commitment to continue. It is the reality of life. Most often we do not celebrate or applaud the consistent, reliable pace of the loyal and faithful, yet it is their patient continuing that produces the finished product.
Jesus said, “if you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed”.
He also commanded us to continue in His love.
The early church understood the value of the repetitive cycle of continuance in the apostle’s doctrine, prayers and fellowship. Steadfast, they were! ... unwavering, resolute and committed. This does not minimize or normalize the events and happenings of the early Christians. By no means do we accept average or nominal as normal. Miraculous, amazing and wonderful events happened all because they continued.
Paul and Barnabas persuaded the Gentiles at Antioch in Pisidia to “continue in the grace of God”. They later returned confirming the souls and exhorting them to “continue in the faith”.
The Colossian church was charged to watch and continue in prayer with much thanksgiving.
This spirit of continuance is evidenced by the writings of the Apostle Jude as he admonished the early church to earnestly contend for the faith that which was once delivered unto the saints. He felt it needful to “write and exhort” to fellow believers. Strong’s defines exhort as to “call a person to the side”. Jude’s exhortation to earnestly contend “continues” to serve as Godly guidance for the present-day church.
The word, hypomonē, that is used in Romans 2: 7 as patient continuance is used in Hebrews 12:1 as let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Be not wearied. We will reap our reward if we faint not. Endure to the end to be saved.
To be continued...
From My Desk,
Pastor Joe McKnight