Devotion

Strength to Finish the Race

by Greg Laurie on Jun 8, 2021
All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
—Revelation 13:8
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Before there was a planet called Earth, before there was a garden called Eden, before there was a couple known as Adam and Eve, God knew that humanity would blow it.

Because of the sin that Adam and Eve would commit in the Garden of Eden, God knew that it would spread throughout the human race. It didn’t come as a surprise or shock to Him.

It was always God’s plan for Christ to die. Revelation 13:8 refers to Jesus as “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (NKJV).

The devil, however, was trying to stop Jesus from reaching His objective. After John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, we read that Jesus “was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil” (Matthew 4:1 NKJV).

Among those temptations, the devil showed Jesus the world’s kingdoms and their glory and said, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me” (verse 9 NKJV).

Loosely paraphrased, the devil was saying, “Jesus, I know you’ve come to purchase back that which was lost in the Garden of Eden. I’ll give it to you now on a silver platter if you give me the momentary pleasure of worshiping me.”

Of course, Jesus rejected that. He knew He had to go to the cross.

This reminds us that the devil often hits us as Christians in the beginning of our spiritual lives, challenging us to doubt our salvation. But he also wants to trip us up at the end of our journey so he can discredit all the good things we did. That’s why the apostle Paul said he wanted to finish the race with joy (see Acts 20:24).

God will be with us and give us the strength we need to finish the race of life.

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