Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Keep the faith

I have sometimes wondered where the phrase "Keep the faith" comes from. I guess it's from this morning's reading in 2 Timothy 4:
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day -- and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
2 Timothy 4.6-8
Last year, when I experienced some chest pains, I wondered if my departure was near. It wasn't, but it did make me wonder: what do I want to do over the next few years so that, when the time does come for my departure, I'll feel like I fought the good fight, etc.?

And what do I need to do today that'll move me in that direction?

I particularly like the last part of that passage -- the crown of righteousness is for all those who long for his appearing. I'm going to guess here that there's a connection between "longed for his appearing" and "fought the good fight, finished the race, kept the faith."

Do I long to see him -- see him at work in the world today, see him when he returns to earth in glory?

You bet I do -- all I have to do is see the front page, and I'm there. And when I see hurting people around me, and the ways I fall short even after nearly three decades following him (or trying to)... yes I do long for his appearing. Come, Lord Jesus! Come, Holy Spirit!

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