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"Why We Don't Give Up"

Paul the Apostle wrote this testimony in his second letter to Timothy. 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 Tim 4.7-8 In several of his letters to churches, this faithful follower of Jesus encouraged others to keep the faith. Many were facing persecutions for being a Christian. Some were struggling financially in a time of poverty. Some were hearing false teachers try to prove their philosophies of wisdom, or of faith in worldly leaders. Over the past few weeks I have been seeking to encourage our worshipers to “not give up: the faith...the Christian walk.” I have offered 3 reasons for not giving up our faith. This is a time in history when many are falling away from Jesus, and even more have never had any spiritual influence to begin with.

The first reason I mentioned was: we don’t give up because He has given us His Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the person of God who now resides here on this planet with us. He is the One who often hears our prayers, and who often intervenes on our behalf. He also influences the minds and hearts of believers who are listening for God’s voice. He influences us to be faithful to our Creator – even in those difficult times. The Holy Spirit inspires and empowers us to keep walking with Christ. I believe that in those trying times, the Holy Spirit, close by to encourage us and inspire us to keep walking by faith. The second reason for not giving up and letting the world around you suck us into its mold is that there is a prize offered to those who finish the course of life. The Crown of Victory is promised to those who run well and finish he race. So I keep running and refuse to give up because there is a reward at the end of life’s race. I long to hear Jesus say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” I want to know that my running has been effective. I long for the promised reward.

Thirdly, I don’t give up the Faith, and my walk with Jesus because others are watching. In Hebrews 12, it mentions a “great cloud of witnesses.” They are faithful saints from previous times who have remained faithful even through severe hardships. They – and many in our own recent past are testimonies to not giving up. They are encouraging us. There are others who watch us, that they may be encouraged. Many in our world, and many in our own church and friendship circles are struggling. They bear heavy burdens of health, or of addictions, or they battle worldly temptations, and hear teachers and friends and media tell them that there is no God. But we don’t give up, because they are watching us, and hoping we will show them a good example of how to run the Christian race with perseverance.

Others are also watching to be taught about how to be a Christian. They are children, or young believers. They are persons who are new to spiritual things. Part of our task is to be faithful for them. We will never be perfect until the day of Christ, but we can show others how to be faithful. We can get back up and keep going after we stumble or fall. Even when our spiritual walk isn’t what we wish it could be, we don’t quit. The race is a marathon, not a sprint. So, how is the race going for you? Hopefully you are enjoying the blessings and strengths of your journey with Jesus. Hopefully you are seeing some victories of faith, and enjoying some times when you have seen Jesus work in people’s lives. But, maybe you’re in a part of the race that’s uphill? Maybe the journey is hard, and you’ve given a lot to get this far? Perhaps the pull of our secular world and its media, and materialism is making you wonder if Christianity is true? Or worth it? Perhaps you’ve been thinking that it might be easier just to let the world suck you in and just forget about church and Jesus, and faith? The writer of Hebrews reminds us to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the beginner and finisher of this Christian faith.” If we can focus on Him, rather than the present hardships, the race’s up-hills will also be followed by some down-hills. And all along the way, we will see that there is One who has run the same race...and now calls us to follow. He seeks to encourage us! I am writing to encourage you also. WE DON’T GIVE UP! So keep going, it will be worth the long hard race, when you see Jesus.

 

 

 

Our Service is a blend of traditional and contemporary. We sing traditional hymns and worship choruses. A message based on readings from the Bible is also shared each week.

Boat Church 7:44 AM
At Manitou Spillway

Sunday School Time 9:30 AM

Morning Worship Indoors
10:30 AM

Contact Information...

First Baptist Church of Rochester
1000 Main Street
Rochester, Indiana 46975
574-223-3613
FBC46975.ORG