Retirement. It seems like people’s entire lives center around this word . . . and life goal! Statistics tell us people are retiring earlier and earlier. And sadly, many of them are also retiring from active Christian life and service to God’s people. However, fellow runner-of-the-race, this is not in God’s plan! As you turn through the pages of Scripture, you won’t find one saint who quit.
Although many wanted to (do you remember Elijah, Jonah, and David?), not one did. Instead they kept pressing on toward God’s purpose for their lives. Consider the following roll call of saints.
- Abraham—Abraham could have quit, but he desired “a better, that is, a heavenly country” (Hebrews 11:16). So Abraham pressed on...until he died.
- Moses—Aged and weary, Moses kept on (and on and on!) serving the Lord. He spent the rest of his days teaching the law, preparing the priests, and encouraging Joshua.
- Samuel—Most people quit after being rejected, but when Israel rejected Samuel, he kept on praying and preaching (12:23), and he spent the rest of his life helping Saul.
- David—King David spent his last days making plans and gathering materials so that his son Solomon could build the temple (1 Chronicles 22:5-19).
Constant Stewardship of Our Gifts
In The Five Silent Years of Corrie ten Boom, Corrie’s assistant, Pamela Rosewell, writes about Corrie’s ministry during the final five years of her life.
At age 86, Corrie suffered two debilitating strokes that left her unable to speak and barely able to move. Yet, until her death at age 91, she received visitors and interceded in prayer for others. She modeled her trust in God and love for Him. Although her ministry moved from public preaching to private praying, Corrie ten Boom pressed on to the end.
The list of God’s people who pressed on toward God’s purposes and served the Lord until the end of their lives goes on and on. They knew they hadn’t finished the race, that there was more work to be done, that their purpose wasn’t fulfilled, and that God had other plans for them and could still use them. They knew that by God’s grace they could make a difference for His kingdom right up until the day they left this earth and went to be with Him. They pressed on.
Christians who are focused on “the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14) know that the prize awaits us at the end of our race. Although minor rewards come along the way, the highest honor doesn’t come until we’ve run the entire race.
So, acting on our love for God, let's press on and serve Him every day of our lives. Then we will receive the prize as we see face-to-face the Lord who Himself endured to the end.
Dear Lord, thank You for these examples of faithful men and women who finished their race to Your glory. Thank You for the purposes You’ve given my life. Help me run with diligence and to finish well. Amen.
Where do you currently serve God and the Church?
Are you tempted to “retire” from Christian service? Seek out accountability to help you finish the race strong.
As you turn through the pages of Scripture, you won’t find one saint who quit.