Articles by Stan Dean

Keep Going!

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One day last fall I headed out to get on my lawn mower to bag some leaves. My four-year-old grandson happened to be at our house that day and decided he “wanted to help.” So I thought I would take him out and ride him around for a while. But after about 5 minutes he held up his hand and motioned for me to stop. I thought he wanted to ask me something or possible take a restroom break, but instead he stated quite resolutely: “I’m done.” And done he was! He went on about his business and showed no more interest in riding the mower.

“I’m done” is a pretty popular expression in our day that means more than merely completing a project. For example, physically it means, “I am worn out and have no more energy;” emotionally it can mean, “I have nothing else to contribute;” or relationally it can mean, “I no longer desire to invest in this relationship and want out”- and the list goes on.

While it is not always bad or wrong to “be done” with some things, there are others matters where we need to learn how to hold on and persevere. Nowhere is this more important than in our service to the Lord.

While the Christian life is truly a blessed one, it is not without its challenges. First of all, notice that Paul described it as warfare. Not carnal, of course, but spiritual where we daily take on Satan and his forces (cf. 2 Corinthians 10:3). In the Ephesian letter Paul gives specific details as to how we are to arm ourselves for battle and instructed us to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). It is only natural in combat to grow weary- - but we must continue to “fight the good fight of faith, [and] lay hold on eternal life…” (1 Timothy 6:12).

Secondly, observe that the Hebrews writer compares the Christian life to running a race. Running makes us tired. But the author encourages us to “keep going,” even when we are tired, by pointing out that everyone who finishes will be equally rewarded. So, Christians must “run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…” (Hebrews 12:2, 3).

May we all be encouraged to never say, “I’m done,” serving the Lord. The price is too high to quit and the reward too great to not finish (cf. 2 Timothy 4:7, 8).

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