GNB 2.23

January 26, 2023


“This then is how you ought to pray, [begin by saying] ‘Father, our Father, hallowed be Your name.” (Matthew 6.9)


Have you ever considered that if you start strong you do not have to worry about the finish? But, we must beware that starting strong does not mean starting fast! Very few of us can start fast and make it to the finish fast. Some of us may start fast and finish the race before it is over. Yes, we may never see the finish line for which we are destined. Faith in God is not exampled by the James Dean modality of “Live fast, die young.” That statement reflects the reckless abandonment of authentic peace, sincere wisdom and common sense. It seems that common sense is becoming the most uncommon sense of all. Without common sense, sincere wisdom and authentic peace life results in tragedy. That is a legacy we should never want to embrace. If that is the truth, then why is our current culture and climate so “hell” bent on abandoning what is the truth. Of course, we as mighty ones of God understand better than others “the truth which sets us free.” That truth is the life lived in total reliance and alignment with the righteousness of God. Jesus is the example of living life to the fullest. How we must remember His life on earth was only 33 years in duration. By modern terms that is not a long life. Yet, His life was not measured by the years spent on earth but how he spent them. His investment was in our future. He literally left all He had on the “field of play.” Jesus did not sit on the sidelines. He was effectively a “player’s coach.” He taught by doing and did by teaching. Little wonder that He was addressed as a rabbi by those who had a heart and mind to know. He was feared as a false rabbi by those whose heart and mind did not want to know. No matter how they wanted to accelerate His end of ministry by ending His life, they could not slow down His momentum which led to the cross of our salvation. Jesus started strong because His future, “the finish,” was put in the very hands of God. If we, like He, follow God’s plan for life then our end is not only promised but guaranteed! And to be clear, death is not our end. We are promised, guaranteed, destined, moved and called to a life without end eternal in the heavens!

But, if all we are living for is to leave some kind of legacy for our name on earth then it is most likely that name will be written in the “Book of Life.” It will be in the wrong book of life. Save by the grace of God, there go I! But, by living a life covered by the blood of the Lamb which we do not dare wash away with the ocean of iniquity, we shall endure the race of life and find the endless day of God’s mercy, grace and authentic love. We will not only finish strong but actually never finish. We will go where no Energizer Bunny can go: on and on and on. So, what does it mean to start strong and not start fast?

  1. Trust in God and not lean on our own understanding.
  2. Abide in His Word of truth instead of forming our own truth about His Word.
  3. Be committed to the ethic of love: love God, love the neighbor (the authentic rule of reciprocity); love self, love the enemy (how they may be the same at times); and love one another (those who abide in the community of faith in Jesus as the Christ.)
  4. Take up the yoke of Christ, the cross of righteous destiny, and follow Him (the measure and stature of living authentically).
  5. Be willing to be humble enough to confess the stumble and your part in it.
  6. Be ready to be humble enough to profess the One who lifts you up and sends you on your way to continue the race until the finish.
  7. Feast on the fruit of the Spirit and not your own labors or the labors of others, except that labor which Christ worked for us, in us and through us to the whole world.

If we follow these seven standards by rehearsing them at the start of our day, then we shall find that at the end of our day we will have finished the race just as strong. It cannot be measured by the things of this world. The world does not understand the things of the Kingdom. God is not the Father of “the world.” God is the Father of “the Kingdom.” We must choose which reality we dare live by and live in and live of. Shall we abide by the rules of engagement to be successful in the world? Or shall we abide by the rules of engagement to be complete in the Kingdom of God on earth as it will be in Heaven? You can know the answer to that question when you follow the prayer which Jesus offered to His disciples as He began…


Father, our Father, hallowed be Your Name; Your Kingdom come, Your Will be done…ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN.” So as it was written, so let it be done…in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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