2 Timothy 4 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing
Peter was a man of great faith, he went everywhere to share the Gospel. Further down in that passage he tells us that people rejected him, people left him on various journeys but yet he kept the faith, he got to the finish line.
I want to explore two passages in the bible where people have fallen short of the finish line.
It’s a very painful thing to fall short of the finish line, I don’t think anyone could come back from that. In football terms, this could be missing out on promotion, losing a play-off final or in athletics, it could be falling at the last hurdle or dropping the baton halfway. Building something and it falls down, starting a journey but you don’t get to the end. We all have sometime in our life stopped short. How did it make you feel?
Genesis 35:16-19

Jacob and Rachel were on their way to Ephrath. Now Rachel was the love of his life, the type of love that will keep them together. They were some distance away from their destination when Rachel went into labour. Rachel gave birth but she encountered some difficulty, she gave birth to another son. Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (Bethlehem).

For Jacob, not only did it effect it him physically, I want to propose to you that it effected him psychologically. The fact that he didn’t get to the finish line, it must have troubled him for some time. They were almost at the finish line, nearly there. So close but yet so far. Jacob didn’t have much but he did his best with what he had, in between the people the around him and getting to the finish line.

How many times have we given up on something and buried it? How many times have we experienced failure and dug a hole for ourselves?

Do you feel like Jacob sometimes?
In society, there are many Jacobs out there who are under pressure to help their family and get them to the finish line.

Have you ever felt like you have fallen short of the finishing line? Have you ever felt like you didn’t quite meet the set standards? You are not alone, many people have stopped short of the finishing line.
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God
The next passage I want to look at is the book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy 35 is where we are zooming in on.

Moses was given a brief to rescue the children of Israel and lead them into the promise land. Along the line Moses stumbled, he failed his task and due to his unbelief and disobedience he was not allowed to go into the promise land. Moses too, fell short, he fell short of the finish line.
The finish line may represent many things to you, it may be completing university, it may be completing coursework or even reaching a destination. Have you ever felt like you have failed? Have you ever felt like you wasn’t worth it? It’s commonly known that when people fail, they lose hope, they lose faith and so they don’t try anything again. They never get out of the starting blocks because they fear they won’t make it. The voices of those people who tell them you won’t make it, go back.
There’s many instances as to why people don’t reach the finish line. It could be because your vision has become blurred, it could be because your perspective has changed.
I want to now turn this around, I want to tell that you can push on and reach the finish line.
We all know the birth of Jesus but I want to look at Joseph and Mary. Joseph is the son of Jacob, now we know that Jacob didn’t make it to Bethlehem. Joseph is now on the road to Bethlehem with Mary, who is heavily pregnant. Joseph knew that he had to reach a safe place for Mary to give birth. They were travelling by Donkey, it was a long journey. The place where Jacob fell short, Joseph persevered and reached Bethlehem where Mary gave birth to baby Jesus. Where Jacob fell short, Joseph carried on. Where Jacob fell short of the finish line, Joseph crossed the finish line.
When you have a great destiny ahead of you, you will reach the finish line despite of what is facing you. I want to tell you that when you are marked for greatness, you can reach the finish line. The fact that Mary was carrying greatness, it drove them to the finish line.
In Joshua 1, Joshua is told by God to be strong and very courageous. God will always be there with him and that he will never forsake him.
Don’t give up, don’t stop, don’t quit, you can make it. You can make it to the promise land, you can make it to the finish line. Let’s be like Joseph, let’s reach the finish line. There is untold pressure to reach the finish line, untold pressure to finish, to be successful but what do you do when all what you have done falls short.
Cast all your burdens onto Jesus for he cares for you. Jesus can get you to the finish line. When Peter fell short, when he couldn’t catch any more fish, Jesus stepped in and got him across the line with more than he had. Whenever you are about to give up, don’t give up, Jesus will get you there.
2 Timothy 4 – I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing
You can Do it!!!!!!!!!! You can make it to the finish line!!!!!!!!

So close but yet so far. Nearly made it but with God by your side, you will get there.

Lord help us to reach the finish line, give us grace and strength to finish the race.

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