2 TIMOTHY 4:7
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;”
Most of the time when you hear someone has three F’s you think failure. But not this time. Paul has “fought,” “finished,” and remained “faithful.” Those are three awesome F’s. First, he fought the good fight. Both the verb “fought,” and the noun “fight” come from the same Greek word from which we get the word “agony.” It means to strive as if in an athletic contest or a battle.
He finished the course. The word for “finished” has the word picture of the old pirate’s scope that unfolds to complete it for use. It reaches an end. And “course” is a race. Paul has come to the end of his race. Finally, he kept the faith. He has guarded and protected the faith he has proclaimed. The most important thing about these three F’s is they are all in the perfect tense which means the action has lasting results. That’s cool.
Ask your children if they think it’s okay to fight. If you have taught them well, they will probably say it isn’t. Then read them this verse and explain some fights are worth fighting. We have to be ready to defend our faith. Have they ever run a race? If so, they know the fulfillment of completing that course. All the energy expelled is worth it when they cross the finish line. One day they will experience that, if they are a believer, when they finish the race we are in as Christians. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
And how do we teach them to guard the faith? By teaching them the truth of God’s Word. It’s not just a Sunday, feel-good book we read. It guides every decision they make. It is the truth above all truths. When they understand that, they will eagerly defend it against all attacks, thus defending their faith. The three F’s are still worth pursuing.
How’s your report card? Are you fighting, finishing and staying faithful? Sometimes we get tired in the fight. Don’t stop. The Lord is there to lift your hands. We get weary in the Christian race. Don’t throw in the towel. Keep your eyes on the finish line. And keep defending your faith against the enemy. Don’t give him an inch.
I will pursue these three F’s today. Above all I want to please You, O Lord my God. I know my efforts are strengthened through Your Spirit who indwells me, making all things possible.