"I knew a guy named Richard one time who was just talented as all get out. You know, I'll never forget him. He came to our Sports Kamps from Oklahoma when I was a little kid. He was the fastest kid in Kamp. He was the fastest kid I'd ever seen run a race and nobody could beat him. That is until the summer that Sam came to Kamp."
- How do Paul's words encourage you today?
- When we tend to quit sometimes when, you know, when Sam gets the lead, what did we do?
- What are some of the Sam's in your life that make you feel discourage?
- How are you going to finish strong even when they get in the lead?
00:13 Are you about to finish school? Or finish for the holidays? Or maybe finish a job? Or to finish an assignment? Or maybe even finish life? Not knowing how many days, you know, are ahead of you. Today Paul has got some great words in Second Timothy Chapter Four, verse five through eight about how to finish. We're always finishing something. Check this out. If you want to know how to finish. He says, "but you be sober in all things. Endure hardship. Do the work of an evangelist and fulfill your ministry." For Paul is talking about himself. He said, "I'm already being poured out as a drink offering and the time of my departure has come. I fought a good fight. I finished the race. I've kept the faith. In the future, there's laid up for me, the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the Righteous Judge will award me on that day. And not only me, but all those who've loved his appearing."
01:17 Paul was finishing his life. He knew he was just about to be killed and he said that he would finish and he would keep the faith. You know, I knew a guy named Richard one time who was just talented as all get out. You know, I'll never forget him. He came to our Sports Kamps from Oklahoma when I was a little kid. He was the fastest kid in Kamp. He was the fastest kid I'd ever seen run a race and nobody could beat him. That is until the summer that Sam came to Kamp. You know, Sam was on Richard's opposing team and Sam was one step faster out of the starting blocks. His first 10 yards of the race were like lightning. And I watched Richard as Sam race three or four times, and every time Richard got sixth place, not second or third, but six.
02:04 You know what happened? You guessed it. When Sam took the lead, Richard would quit. He couldn't stand the idea of second, so he'd quit. He never even crossed the finish line. Oh, you know, my First Year in coaching, I was fortunate to coach at Texas A&M, and our slogan during spring training in those days was "Finish Strong." It was that simple. Gene Stallings was the head coach. Still a great friend to this day. But man, when he would say finish strong, I mean every drill, every play, every down you could hear coach Stallings and one of the coaches say, finish strong, finish strong. You know, we didn't want any Richards at Texas A&M University. Um, you know what, man, life is so much like a track race. It's so much like a football game. You know, you get knocked flat, you get, you know, belittled.
02:53 Uh, you know, Sam is always there to take the lead away. You get discouraged. You want to running. But the runner who keeps his eyes on the prize and keeps his legs pumping to the finish line, wins the most important race every single time. God guarantees it. All we've got to do is finish strong. And here's the questions for today. How do Paul's words encourage you today? Finish strong! When we tend to quit sometimes when, you know, when Sam gets the lead, what did we do? Finish Strong! And then what are some of the Sam's in your life that make you feel discourage? And how are you going to finish strong even when they get in the lead? The lifeline for today is this: Fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith because the crown of righteousness is awaiting the one who does.