The Final Chapter

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

I can remember my college speech teacher remarking that, "You must have a strong opening and gripping conclusion. The stuff in the middle no one ever remembers anyway." While that may not be entirely true, it is certain that the ending is what one take with them when they leave.

I deplore going to a movie with a poor ending. Even if the movie was captivating and entertaining up to that point, it's a waste if the last ten minutes don't satisfy. When this happens, I find myself rewriting the ending in my mind and perhaps even fantasizing of sending it to some big-shot Hollywood executive. I simply can not get closure until I determine how the movie should have concluded.

This morning I am reading the final chapter of 2 Corinthians. Paul is determined to pay another visit to Corinth though he is clearly reticent about what kind of reception he will receive. He has made significantly strong statements in his two letters. After addressing issues ranging from marriage to immorality, Paul finishes his letter.

His last words to the church at Corinth are, "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all." That is an excellent ending. In one sentence, Paul wraps the keys to living out your faith. The exciting part is that I can start doing that right now. I don't have to wait for the end of my life to begin.
  • The Grace of Jesus - Grace. Grace enables me to look beyond the perceived flaws of my husband. Grace empowers me to forgive even those who think they've done nothing wrong. So many issues addressed by Paul would dissipate if grace were flowing freely from my life.
  • The Love of God - Love. God's love is sacrificial. God's love is complete. God's love is eternal. God's love casts out fear. So many topics covered by Paul would become victories if love were covering those in my life.
  • The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit - Fellowship. Fellowship is experienced when I think of others instead of myself. Fellowship is enjoyed when I more concerned with unity than getting my way. So many subjects brought up by Paul would cease to be concerns if fellowship were my aim in every relationship.

For certain Paul has penned the perfect ending. If I made just his one verse a complete reality in my life, I am confident I would be radically changed. In the story of my life, every day counts. How I finish will be determined one day at a time as I choose to walk in faith.

Jesus, You are the Author of my story. May the pages of my heart today read love, grace and fellowship.

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