Finishing the Race

“Making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:16).

God expects the believer to use his time wisely.

Many people never finish what they begin. There are unfinished symphonies, unfinished paintings, and unfinished sculptures (sometimes because the composer or artist died). There are relationships that never become all they could be, ministries that never come to fruition, dreams that always remain dreams, and hopes that always remain hopes. For a lot of people, life can be an unfinished symphony or a dream without reality. But it doesn’t have to be that way. I believe the answer can be found in the phrase “making the most of your time” (Eph. 5:16).

If we are ever to turn our dreams into realities and our hopes into facts—to finish our symphonies, paint our paintings, and sculpt our sculptures—it will be only when we have made the most of our time. I believe that in eternity past, God prescribed the specific time that we are to live. And only as we maximize that time can we maintain its potential for fulfillment.

The apostle Paul knew firsthand the importance of redeeming his time. In Acts 20:24 he says, “I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, in order that I may finish my course, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus.” In other words, God has given us a time boundary, and within that time He has defined a course. Paul in effect said, “I want to finish the specific course and specific ministry in the specific time given to me.” At the end of his life Paul could say, “I have finished the course” (2 Tim. 4:7). He completed the race because he made the most of his time.

I believe God has sovereignly given you and me a specific period of time. He knows the beginning and the end because He predetermined both. Be sure to finish your prescribed race by walking wisely and living for His glory.

Suggestions for Prayer
• Thank the Lord for sovereignly giving you a course to run in life.
• Pray for His perfect will to be reflected in your life as you run the course.

For Further Study
Read 1 Peter 1:17-19. According to verse 17, how are you to live “during the time of your stay upon earth”? Why?

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187