You Must First Finish Before You Finish First

by Benjamin Burks on October 3, 2012 · 0 comments

Matthew 16:24 “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

How thankful I am for the sacrifice, and service of the followers of Christ, who attended the RU Conference last week. The scriptures give many promises to those who follow Christ, and I believe that was evident in each life that I witnessed. Thank you for your service to The Saviour! My heart aches for those who use to be in the race, but have gotten sidelined!

As I have spent time reflecting on your service, I noticed some promises reserved for each of you and some precautions revealed.

“The most important part of a story is the ending. No one reads a book to get to the middle.” M. Spillane

Promises Reserved

• John 8:12, reminds us that we will have the light of life.
• Math 16:24, 25, reminds us that we will find His life.
• Math 19:21, reminds us that we will have treasure in Heaven.
• Math 4: 19, reminds us that we will be fishers of men.
• John 12:26, reminds us that we will have honor with the Father.

Precautions Revealed
Three words sum up a life of following Christ. If we are to finish well what was started in us, we must learn the truth of these three words: Deny, Cross, Follow.

“Let him deny himself” – If you are going to do any kind of worthy service for the Lord, it will involve denial of self. This often means being inconvenienced. This often means being overlooked. This often means being under appreciated. Self-denial is essential if you serve Christ.

“Take up his cross.” The cross is our work, our task, and our job. That was the main work of Christ. A cross involves suffering, pain, mocking, blood, sweat, and tears. Many like to be in God’s army when it involves a parade, recognition, medals, and awards. But when the cross is involved, that is too big a price, so they drop out and go home.

“Follow me.” You cannot serve Christ well if you do not follow Him well. To follow means you will go wherever Christ goes. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that there are no words between “follow” and “me.” It must remain this way.

Race car driver Robby Gordon shared Rule Number One in racing: “you must first finish before you finish first.” Gordon learned that lesson the hard way. At the 83rd running of the Indianapolis 500, Robbie Gordon with just one lap to go, didn’t have enough gas to finish.

While the other lead drivers had taken a pit stop, because the yellow caution flag was up following a crash by Mark Dismore, Gordan gambled that he could finish the final 37 laps on the one tank of fuel. With just a lap to go, he had to pull in for a “splash” of methanol, and that stop caused him to finish in fourth place.

The race we run is not for earthly rewards, but Heavenly ones. Let’s finish well, by following Him. Let’s finish this race well! Let’s not get sidelined with sin.

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