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Paul teaches about finishing the race
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I’m sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus.

Philippians 1:6

(Common English Bible)

I remember many lessons from when I was growing up. We learned to turn off lights when we leave the room, to clean up after ourselves, and to do an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay.

My parents and grandmother taught us that if anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and if you take time to do something right the first time, you will save time in the long run by not having to do it again.

But I think one of the most important lessons I learned was to finish what I start.

In fact, it was so ingrained into my behavior that even today, I find it difficult to stop in the middle of anything – whether it’s playing a piece on the piano or finishing a sentence in a conversation.

I don’t want to start projects I can’t finish quickly because I hate to leave anything undone.

The Apostle Paul also believed in finishing what he started. He went on three long missionary journeys, sometimes revisiting churches he had established during earlier missions to make certain that they were continuing in their mission and work of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He believed in encouraging others to stay committed, to finish the race, to hang in there.

He often talked about finishing the race with endurance – meaning that we should not give up on living for Jesus, no matter how hard or inconvenient it may seem or how much persecution we face.

The future of Christianity depends on us telling others about Jesus and what he means to us.

Paul reminds us that God will finish the good work begun in us. God does not leave us unfinished, but will complete what God started in us.

When it comes to living for Jesus, what have you forgotten in your life or left undone? What about in your day?

Do you get to the end of your day and wonder what you did for God during the time God has given you each day?

Remember that God began a good work in you and will bring it to completion, and that as you trust God each day, God will continue that work in you as you live for the Lord. Don’t give up.

Don’t grow weary. Keep on living for Jesus!

How will you trust God to continue the work of Grace in your life today?


Rev. Jan McCoy is the associate pastor of Covington First United Methodist Church in downtown Covington. She may be reached at

Rev. Jan