Steve Farrar delivers a five-star book, which is the highest rating I give to any book I’ve read. Five-star books are the timeless classics worth picking up and rereading many times. The statistics and stories Steve shares in Finishing Strong in the first chapter alone are like getting thrown naked into a freezing pond.
When I read about the Old Testament kings from Saul to Zedekiah the results are shocking. Only three kings, David, Jotham, and Hezekiah reigned over 15 years and finished fairly strong. Saul, Solomon, Asa, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, and Josiah all ended poorly. Four kings were rotten. Jehoram “died to no one’s regret” (2 Chronicles 21:20). Manasseh was the most corrupt of all the kings but miraculously managed to finish well.
1 Chronicles 29:26-28--David son of Jesse was king over all Israel. The length of his reign over Israel was 40 years; he reigned in Hebron for seven years and in Jerusalem for 33. He died at a ripe old age, full of days, riches, and honor . . .
I can’t speak for you, but I would like to die at a ripe old age, blessed with spiritual riches and honor. I want to be like my dad, who, at the age of 87, is finishing strong. Still, I will be challenged. My flesh battles temptations, Satan is wily and, as if that is not enough threat, pride is ever-lurking to strangle me. I’m sick of hearing about Christians who ran a good race only to abandon their faith; saddened by the long line of spiritual dropouts; and, hurt considering how many times God’s reputation is trashed by His children who chose quitting over enduring.
Life is not a sprint—we know that. It is a marathon—we must remember that! If we are to finish to a cheering crowd, at least these four things must happen:
1. Humbleness. Pride angers God and results in our downfall. Embrace, feed and protect humility!
2. Recognition. Journey with the right equipment and in God’s strength. No long-distance runner wears bad shoes, forgets energy bars and water, and dresses in ignorance of the weather. Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us how to succeed and what to wear so that we can persevere and withstand the attacks of the enemy.
3. Accountability. Don’t run alone! We run together. Fellowship is what nourishes and strengthens us. It helps us when we want to quit, protects us from doing dumb things, and pulls us up when we fall. If something is not right—tell somebody!
4. Learning. No day is the same. Failure happens. Stay teachable and adjust by discerning what to do and what not to do. Be observant and keep improving.
How will you finish? Hmmm . . . that depends on your mindset—Romans 12:2; Colossians 3:2. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
In the Christian life, it’s not how you start that matters. It’s how you finish.—Steve Farrar in Finishing Strong
©2020 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
 Steve Farrar in Finishing Strong, (©1995, Multnomah Publishers, Sisters, Oregon)