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Attaining perfect finish

The Death of Ananias, by Masaccio
Image via Wikipedia

By toye faleye
The beginning of a race is not as important as finishing the race, and finishing it does not bring satisfactory accomplishment except when it is finished well. Stories are told of great people in the Bible who started their race with vigour and vibrancy but who stumbled when they were about breasting the tape. Perhaps, they waved by the wayside those stumbling blocks that caused their disastrous crash. It’s high time one knew that christian race demands total obedience, concentration and rapt attention to the spirit of God; else, the deceiver catches one unaware.

The grim but pathetic death of Ananias and Saphira was a pointer to the importance of attaining a perfect finish in the kingdom race. The fervent couple strayed away into the hungry, callous hand of Satan and all their past accomplishments crashed like a pack of cards as they rammed against the stumbling block at the highpoint of their journey.

The travail of the couple only goes to show that God does not reckon with the past righteous deeds in as much as those deeds cannot be sustained by the present righteous deeds. Otherwise, the couple being identified as collaborating to both the spiritual and physical uplift of the body of Christ at the outset of the spread of the gospel could have been enough to bail them out of the nemesis that caught up with them, but in as much as they were cut perpetrating evil at present, their past deeds were not so potent enough to rescue them. Jesus is interested in that righteous thing that you are executing at the moment and the drive to sustain it to the very end.

Ananias and Saphira were part of the early christians who spread the gospel and believed in general wellbeing of the christian community. They were not found wanting in their meritorious service to God, which included selling their land for the upkeep of the christian body and the brethren, except when it appeared that they could not bridle their lust for wealth and accolade. It was then that they erred. They lost focus and were not conscious of the impending dart of Satan seeking to consume them. They sold their land and while making the return to the body of Christ, kept back part of the proceed. For lying against the Holy Spirit, there was no escape route. Their punishment was instant death.

This was a family that had been instrumental to the spread, growth and material upkeep of the body of believers, having gone the extra mile to sell their land. When it mattered most, they failed to wear the whole armour of God necessary to withstand the hailstone of satan lurking perilously at a corner; Ephesians 6: 11 says, “Put on the whole armour of God so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil,” (NKJV). So Ephesians 6:14 also warns that we need to arm ourselves with the breastplate of righteousness; “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,” (NKJV). The lying spirit got hold of the couple and there they ended disastrously no matter how well they had started their christian race; what a total loss.

The christian journey is but a race that warrants a good start and a perfect finish. In as much as the Lord Jesus Christ desires that the race be started well, He also looks forward to seeing it ended well. Otherwise, it amounts to nothing if at the end the coveted trophy is lost. The race requires that a believer be steadfast. He should watch and pray, wear the whole armour of God with the breastplate of righteousness and cast all hope on Him. The race requires an unwavering conduct and a total commitment to the kingdom call till the end. When this is achieved, then all the host of heaven are waiting to extend their hands of welcome in a standing ovation and joyous uproar. At this point the crown is waiting too to rest on the believer. No moment can be more astounding than this. It is the point of success.

The christian race demands persistent dedication and enthusiasm towards the kingdom business. As the ember of Christian service is continuously being fanned, it oils the way to a glorious end. It is the devil’s device to assume that one is on the pinnacle of the divine call, the end of which may be a thunderous crash. Apostle Paul warns the Corinthian brethren thus in 1 Corinthians 10:12; “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall,” (NKJV). A christian should press further and launch out into the deep for Satan never backs out; he is laying ambush to plot a great fall.

It is said that those who are first will be last and the last first. Your decades of outstanding services to the Lord could evaporate into the thin air if diligence is lacking; hence you becoming the last. Satan loves to lay distractions on the pathway to kingdom so as to cause derailment and outright condemnation, it is the christian that must be vigilant. The Lord Jesus counsells in Mathew 24: 12-13 that, “and because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved,” (NKJV). This is the close of age when the menacing hand of the devil is preying all over and wrecking havoc, but with steadfastness the crown is achievable. The Bible lifts our spirit in Philippians 4: 13, “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me,” (NKJV). But the soul-lifting promise still requires a Christian to play his part. The beginning of a journey is important, however the crown remains elusive in as much as a perfect finish cannot be attained.

A Nigerian journalist. Writes for Afrimag, the publisher of SmartInvestor Magazine. Has published articles in BusinessWorld Newspaper, SmartInvestor, Nigerian Extra and other Nigerian-based magazines and Newspapers. Serves as a Copy Editor for Afrimag at present.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.comCHRISTIAN WRITERSMAKE A WEBSITE

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