OUR STEWARDSHIP IS NOT TO BE SEASONAL, IT IS TO BE FOR A LIFETIME.
NO MATTER HOW WELL YOU RUN A RACE AT THE BEGINNING, WHAT MATTERS ULTIMATELY IS HOW WELL YOU CONCLUDE.
WE ARE IN A LONG-DISTANCE RACE THAT REQUIRES GRACE FOR CONTINUITY.
-Pastor David Oyedepo Jr at CHoP
*Peter started in his youth but pressed on to the end, serving the Lord from start to finish.
*Paul was not among those to be considered, but he served his way with continuity and consistency until he arrived at the top.
*Paul did not just finish the race, but he became a crown receiver in that race.
Our Father, this morning, we have come to give praise and glory to You for Your goodness and Your faithfulness. Thank You Lord for the answers You have given to all of our prayers. Thank You Father for the testimonies of Your mighty hand at work. We have come to say, “we are grateful.” Accept our thanksgiving in the name of Jesus Christ. Now this morning, our eyes are upon You, we ask that You speak to us again. By Your Word, You will transform each one of our lives. We give You all the praise and all the glory, in Jesus precious name we have prayed.
Our line of exhortations all through this week in our Covenant Hour of Prayer has been:
ENGAGING THE GRACE FOR CONTINUITY IN STEWARDSHIP
According to God’s Word, it is clear, everyone that is born again is born a child of God in the Kingdom, but everyone that is a child of God is called to be a servant of God. In other words, serving God is the responsibility of every child of God. When you become born again, you become one that is ordained by God to serve Him, that is our responsibility.
You are born a child but you are called a servant and our distinction in our walk with God is according to our stewardship
Malachi 3:17-18. Sonship is for service. We are called into stewardship but we must understand that stewardship in the Kingdom is a long-range race.
Hebrews 12:1 – “…run with patience”. That word means we are to run this race with endurance. It means therefore that the race requires continuity, it is not a sprint, it is a marathon.
Matthew 24:13, 1 Corinthians 15:58
Very clearly, we are in a long-distance race. Our stewardship is not to be seasonal, it is to be for a lifetime. We are to keep running the race all the way to the end. No matter how well you run a race at the beginning, what matters ultimately is how well you conclude. Therefore, it becomes important for you and I to receive grace from above to be able to run this race to the end and to finish well.
-No one here will fall short of the mark in the name of Jesus.
God’s Word makes it clear to us that we are to be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises – Hebrews 6:12. In other words, we can look through scriptures and find individuals who ran their race well to the end and emulate them in order to finish well.
We are told that all these things in scriptures were written for our examples. In other words, if other people finished well, then you and I can finish well. Therefore, as we emulate their examples, I see each one of us positioning ourselves to finish this race well in the name of Jesus.
Therefore, this morning, we are going to look at 2 examples of those who ran the race well to the end and one example of somebody who missed it. We will emulate the example of those who made it and will avoid the error of those who missed it.
-No one here will miss it in the name of Jesus.
Number 1 example this morning is the example of Peter. Peter made it to the end in his stewardship of Christ.
Jesus asked Peter that question 3 different times and He said the only way to prove the authenticity of your love is to engage in the pursuit of my lambs and my sheep. We find that as soon as Jesus ascended, we see Peter in action, taking responsibility for what Jesus sent him.
Acts 2:38-41. 3,000 souls were instantly added to the Kingdom of God. That looked like the beginning of the race but the race was continued. He didn’t stop there, he kept pressing on.
We see Peter going to the house of Cornelius and the entire household of Cornelius getting saved – Acts 10
1 Peter 5:1-2 – Peter began to speak at this time as an elder and he began to charge them, he said “feed the flock of God.” The same charge Jesus gave him in John chapter 21. Peter was still actively engaging in 1 Peter chapter 5
2 Peter 1:14-15. We see Peter getting close to the conclusion.
He was close to the end but what was he doing at this point?
2 Peter 1:13 – I must keep doing the assignment Jesus gave me while I am in this tabernacle. I will keep pressing on to the end. That was the testimony of Peter.
He started in his youth but pressed on to the end, serving the Lord from start to finish.
-Peter did it, Peter made it. You and I will make it.
-If Peter made it, then you and I will make it, in the name of Jesus Christ.
Number 2 example is the example of Paul the Apostle. Paul the Apostle also made it to the end.
1 Corinthians 9:16-17. That was Paul under compulsion and conviction to press on with the gospel of Christ and we discovered that Paul did not only start but Paul continued.
Acts 26:22 – He continued in his witnessing.
2 Timothy 4:6-8. We find this testimony of Paul. He st\arted, but he continued and pressed on to the end. I have fought, I have finished and now is laid up for me a crown. So he didn’t just start the race, he pressed on in the race and he finished the race. He did not just finish the race, but he became a crown receiver in that race.
-My prayer for each one of us, just like Paul the Apostle, the grace for us to run this race and finish it well, will come upon each one in the name of Jesus Christ.
He ran so well in this race that according to scripture we are told that this same Paul who was not among the multitude when Jesus was here, not among the 500 that were at the ascension, not among the 70 that were with Christ, not among the 12, he came to number one. From not being among those to be considered, he served his way with continuity and consistency until he arrived at the top.
-That will be somebody’s testimony here in the name of Jesus Christ.
But we have a cautionary tale in scriptures, of the example of Judas. Judas was beyond the 70, Judas was among the 12, hand selected by Christ. But the Bible tells us that Judas through the love of money, after 3 years of active partnership with Christ crashed.
He made a transaction and sold the Master for 30 pieces of silver.
That was the end of his association and we are told in Matthew chapter 27 verses 3 to 5, how this man ended up. He lost his place. One who had a throne waiting for him, lost it totally in his love for money.
I will like us to understand therefore, it is not enough to start, it is vital to continue. That is why you and I require grace. The grace for continuity, those who made it, made it by grace.
1 Corinthians 15:10
Therefore, this morning, each one of us can tap unto God and ask for that grace – Hebrews 4:16
As we connect with that grace from heaven, none of us will fall short in this race, in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Prayers: Ask God for grace. I just don’t want to start, I want to continue. I just don’t want to continue, I want to finish well. Lord, grace: the grace to run this race and to finish well. Pray for that grace this morning. I receive grace to continue, I receive grace to finish well in the name of Jesus Christ. I tap into that grace this morning, I connect with that grace this morning, I receive that grace this morning. Thank You mighty God, blessed be your holy name, in Jesus precious name we have prayed.