Finishing the Race and Christ’s Return

For God had far better things in mind for us that would benefit them, for they can’t receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race. (Hebrews 11:40 NLT)


Christianity is always about a team effort, and the return of Christ determines our finish line. In a relay race, the first runners only win once the last runner crosses the finish line.


Abraham, in Genesis 21:33 NLT, planted a tamarisk tree which takes four hundred years to grow to full height. This tree is never planted for shade in your generation but only for subsequent ones. It is the only record we have of Abraham planting anything. Abraham was making a statement that the promise through Isaac would come to fruition in future generations of God’s people. He received the promise by faith, which was counted to him as righteousness. He saw what was not as though it was.


Our scripture reference tells us that these great men of faith can only receive their prize if we, and if the Lord tarries, future generations finish our race. We often become discouraged because of failures and disappointments, but God accomplishes his purposes despite our shortcomings. Look at the Patriarchs, parts of their stories read like a soap opera, yet God was able to shape the Jewish nation through them. You are never a failure unless you stop believing God has a plan that includes you.


Some of us play more significant parts, and others smaller ones. God puts some of us on his lapel and others in his pocket. It doesn’t matter the nature of our task if we are finishing it for Him and handing the baton to the next generation, eventually bringing back the King. Only then will we all receive our prize.


As it says at the end of the book, Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20 NLT)


The image is used with permission from Microsoft.

Ken Barnes is the author of “Broken Vessels,” published in February 2021, and “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” published by YWAM Publishing in 2011.

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