by: Rich Vaughan
I don’t usually share someone else’s devotion in my devotional thoughts, but I wanted to start today’s devotion with a Max Lucado devotion I read yesterday. In a book of his I have called “When God Whispers Your Name” he shared this fictional moment that I just loved.
“I sit a few feet from a man on death row. Jewish by birth, Tentmaker by trade. Apostle by calling. His days are marked. I’m curious about what bolsters this man as he nears his execution. So, I ask some questions.
Do you have family Paul? I have none.
What about your health? My body is beaten and tired.
Any awards? Not on earth.
Then what do you have Paul? No belongings, no family …. What do you have that matters?
I have my faith. It’s all I have. But it’s all I need. I have kept the faith
Paul leans back against the wall of his cell and smiles.”
Although this is a fictional account it certainly reflects Paul. Do you remember his words to Timothy in II Timothy 4:7-8b? “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day….”
I wonder if there is any better epitaph for a Christian than “I have kept the Faith”? It is not an easy journey to keep the faith. Oh, it is when everything is OK and the world seems to be humming along. But when the journey is rocky, when the world is not rosy, when life is unfair. It is not easy to keep the faith. But it is possible. All of us have our Job (Biblical character not your work!) moments in life. Whether we are ordained clergy or laity we all have those valley moments. But the God of the valley is also the God of the Mountain. Faith is what makes us and carries us. It is what defines us in the end as Christians and as a follower. I don’t know what will be said of me at the end of my journey but I hope somewhere between the laughter and the tears someone will also say, “He fought a good fight, he finished his race, and praise God, HE KEPT THE FAITH”. Amen & Amen.