A Confident Finish
Paul knew that he would soon be killed because he loved and served Jesus. However he describes his coming death as a willing sacrifice of praise, like a drink offering. In the Old Testament, with each of the animal and food sacrifices, strong wine should also be poured out as a drink offering to express joy at the goodness of God who had granted forgiveness through the sacrifices. Having spent his ministry preaching about the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Paul was glad to pour out the last bit of his life in praise and thanks to God.
The Apostle looked back on his life and knew that the Lord had helped him to fight temptation and keep running well, as in an Olympic race. He had not turned his back on Jesus and was totally confident that Jesus would receive Him. He was not dreading that encounter because he knew that all his sins had been paid for by Jesus; instead, he was eagerly anticipating the Lord’s reward.
It is important to finish well. Too many people start their Christian race well but then become weary or distracted away from a life-focus on meeting Jesus. For Paul, that was his daily motivation through many challenging circumstances … “what will Jesus say when I meet Him?” It is a good question for us all to ask. So if we are being tempted to give up or to grow weary in the battle, let us consider how Jesus dealt with worse circumstances (Hebrews 12:2-3). Paul wrote, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13-14). Let us make sure we do the same.
© Dr Paul Adams